On Friday, former U.S. ambassador to the UN and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley seemed to defend the confederate flag in an interview on Blaze TV with host Glenn Beck, arguing that its meaning had been skewed by convicted mass murderer Dylann Roof.
According to The Daily Beast, Haley was addressing her decision to move the Confederate flag in 2015 from the South Carolina State House following the deadly mass shooting on an African American church that year.
“Here is this guy that comes out with this manifesto, holding the Confederate flag,” she said, according to The Daily Beast. “And had just hijacked everything that people thought of — we don’t have hateful people in South Carolina. It’s a small minority; it’s always going to be there.”
Haley continued in defending her perceived historic view of the flag and explained how she believed the media attempted to shift the narrative toward racism and gun control.
“People saw it as service, and sacrifice, and heritage,” the ex-governor continued. “But once he did that, there was no way to overcome it. And the national media came in droves — they wanted to define what happened. They wanted it to make this about racism. They wanted to make it about gun control. They wanted to make it about the death penalty.”
According to a report from The New York Times earlier this year, Roof was sentenced in January 2017 to death for the shooting death of nine black Americans as they worshipped in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina in 2015.
Haley, who last month published With All Due Respect, a book in which she detailed her time as President Trump’s ambassador to the UN, made comments Friday that seemed to mirror comments that she had made directly following the massacre in South Carolina and the announcement that the flag would be coming down at the State House, per The Daily Beast.
Following the shooting death of the nine African Americans, Haley said the flag was viewed as a way to honor South Carolina’s ancestors, but admitted that the Confederate flag was not a part of the state’s future.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, while the Confederate flag has been seen as a symbol of southern heritage, particularly by groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans, it has often been viewed as a symbol of slavery and white supremacy. The flag reportedly remains a popular symbol among modern White Supremacists as well.