The Charleston church shootings have thrown the spotlight back onto the Confederate battle flag on South Carolina’s State House grounds in Columbia.
The battle flag has flown behind the Confederate Soldier Monument on the north side of the State House since a compromise by lawmakers removed it from atop the capitol dome in 2000.
Friday, it was splashed on TV screens, no matter the news channel.
Gov. Nikki Haley told “CBS This Morning” it was too early to talk about whether the flag should come off the grounds. “My job is to heal the people of this state.”
Here’s more of what was being discussed Friday:
NAACP renews call for flag to come down
The head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is calling the slaying of nine people inside a black church an act of “racial terrorism” and said the Confederate flag flying on the South Carolina capitol grounds needs to come down.
NAACP President and CEO Rev. Cornell William Brooks made his remarks Friday in a news conference in Charleston, two days after police say 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof opened fire on parishioners in a Bible study at the Emanuel AME church in the city.
Brooks mentioned that Roof was pictured sitting on a car with a Confederate flag on its license plate in a Facebook photo and displayed symbols of racist regimes in South Africa and Rhodesia on a jacket he wore in another Facebook photo.
The NAACP has called for the flag’s removal from the State House grounds ever since it was taken down from the top of the capitol dome, where the American 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.
The Associated Press
Why the flag is not at half staff
The Confederate flag does not operate as other flags at the State House, said Sen. Larry Martin, a Pickens Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The battle flag is considered a monument and, under the compromise that took it off the capitold dome, is not governed by the law dealing with other flags.
“The flag that was placed at the Confederate soldier’s monument is not included because it is not part of the officially recognized display of flags, which reflect the sovereignty of the state,” Martin said.
Mechanically, it would be difficult to fly the battle flag at half staff because it has no rope and pulley system as most flags do.
The Greenville News