South Carolina governor Nikki Haley will call for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, the Charleston Post and Courier is reporting.
Haley has scheduled a new conference for 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Although she has not stated the purpose of the news conference, an anonymous source close to the governor said that the topic of discussion will be the governor’s plan to remove the flag from the Statehouse grounds.
The presence of the Confederate flag on the grounds of South Carolina’s Capitol building has become the focus of intense criticism in the past few days, since nine African Americans were shot and killed at a Charleston church. The suspect in the shootings, Dylann Roof, is an admitted racist who claims he carried out the shootings in order to start a race war.
The Confederate flag has itself been a topic of controversy for decades, according to Huffington Post. To some supporters, it’s a symbol of “Southern Pride” (the definition of which depends on who is using the term) — to its opponents, it’s at best a symbol of racism, and at worst, a reminder of (if not a celebration of) the days of slavery.
“In tiptoeing around what ‘Southern pride’ is actually representative of and refusing to condemn the Confederate flag as the horrific reminder of human slavery and discrimination it is, we’re inherently encouraging modern-day acts of racism and ideologies that are straight-up wrong.”
Still, the Confederate flag remains at the South Carolina Statehouse — in fact, until 2000, it enjoyed an even more prominent place in the building’s iconography than it does today. Between 1962 and 2000, the Confederate Flag flew from a mast atop the dome of the Capitol building, directly below the U.S. flag. It was also prominently displayed inside both chambers of the South Carolina legislature. However, a compromise resulted in the removal of the flag from the building proper. Instead, it was moved to a Confederate soldiers’ memorial on the statehouse grounds.
Since the Charleston shooting, however, the calls have come in to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds entirely, even from some Republicans, including 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney, according to this Inquisitr report.
Do you think South Carolina should remove the confederate flag from its statehouse grounds? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Images courtesy of: Getty Images / Chris Hondros, Dylann Roof’s website]