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Charleston Shooting Reignites Flag Controversy

  • Molly McKitterick

The Confederate flag flies near the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, S.C., June 19, 2015.

The Confederate flag flies near the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, S.C., June 19, 2015.

The shooting in a Charleston, South Carolina church that killed nine people has revived a controversy … over a flag.

The flag of the short-lived Confederate States of America – the group of southern states that seceded during the U.S. Civil War – is still flying in front of the South Carolina Capitol building.

To those who think the flag should come down permanently, it is symbol of slavery and connotes racism. To proponents, the flag symbolizes the Southern way of life.

On Friday, “Confederate” was trending on Twitter as lots of people weighed in on the flag issue sparked by reports that the suspect in the Charleston shootings, who wore emblems of white supremacy, had a Confederate flag on his license plate.

President Barack Obama said Friday on Air Force One that the flag belongs “in a museum.”

NAACP president and CEO Cornell William Brooks called for the removal of the Confederate flag flying on the South Carolina Capitol grounds, saying it is an “emblem of hate.”

The NAACP has called for the flag's removal from the Statehouse grounds ever since it was taken down from the top of the Statehouse dome, where the U.S. and state flags are flown.

When the flag was moved from the dome to a Confederate soldier monument in front of the building, some called it a compromise, but the NAACP disagreed and wants it removed entirely from the grounds.

To add to the controversy, the Capitol building flag is not on a pulley system so it could not be lowered in respect for the victims of Wednesday’s shootings unlike both the U.S. and state flags.

The Civil War ended in 1865, ending the Confederacy.

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