Governor wants rebel flag removed

Published: Tuesday 23rd June 2015 by The News Editor

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South Carolina’s governor said the Confederate flag should be removed from the Statehouse grounds after the fatal shooting at a historic black church.

Republican Nikki Haley acknowledged that its use as a symbol of hatred by the man accused of killing nine black church members has made it too divisive to display in such a public space.

Her ab out-face comes just days after authorities charged Dylann Storm Roof, 21, with murder.

The young white man appeared in photos waving Confederate flags and burning or desecrating US flags, and purportedly wrote of stirring up racial violence.

Survivors told police he hurled racial insults during last Wednesday’s attack.

Ms Haley said: “The murderer now locked up in Charleston said he hoped his actions would start a race war.

” We have an opportunity to show that not only was he wrong, but that just the opposite is happening,” she said, flanked by Democrats and Republicans, blacks and whites who joined her call.

“My hope is that by removing a symbol that divides us, we can move our state forward in harmony, and we can honor the nine blessed souls who are now in Heaven,” she said.

The massacre inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church has suddenly made removing the flag – long thought politically impossible in South Carolina – the mainstream position, even for conservative Republican politicians.

Ms Haley was flanked by US Senator Lindsey Graham, now running for president, as well as South Carolina’s junior senator, Tim Scott, and Democratic US Representative Jim Clyburn, both of whom are black.

Within moments, her call was echoed by the chairman of the Republican National Committee and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The governor’s declarations sparked action in other arenas as well yesterday. Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn called for the Confederate emblem to be removed from the state flag, becoming the first top-tier Republican to do so.

In Tennessee, both Democrats and Republicans called for the removal of a bust of Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest from an alcove outside the Senate’s chambers.

And Wal-Mart announced that it is removing any items from its store shelves and website that feature the Confederate flag.

Published: Tuesday 23rd June 2015 by The News Editor

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