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Steve Spurrier weighs in on Confederate flag

USC head football coach Steve Spurrier has asked for the Confederate flag to be removed before.
USC head football coach Steve Spurrier has asked for the Confederate flag to be removed before. mbergen@thestate.com

South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier on Tuesday shared his opinion on what should happen to the Confederate flag that flies on the State House grounds.

“The South Carolina football team, players and coaches strongly support Governor Haley’s decision to remove the flag from the capitol,” Spurrier said via his Twitter handle @SC_HBC.

Spurrier had asked for the flag to be removed back in 2007.

“It would make us a more progressive, better state, I think, if the flag was removed. But I’m not going to go on any big campaign to have it removed. That’s not my position,” Spurrier said in 2007 in an interview with The State. “But if anyone were to ask me, that would certainly be my position.”

Debate about the flag, long a source of a controversy, intensified after nine parishioners at an African-American in Charleston were killed last week during an evening Bible study session.

Both the S.C. House and Senate agreed Tuesday to allow a debate over the Confederate flag’s removal from the State House grounds this summer, a day after Gov. Nikki Haley called for the flag to come down.

Several with USC ties were among those calling for the flag to be taken down:

“It is time to remove the flag. We are ONE !! #CharlestonStrong #Gamecocks,” South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner said via Twitter on Monday.

USC women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley said via Twitter: “Leaders make the unpopular but right decisions. #StayTuned”

Former USC quarterback Connor Shaw tweeted: “Any flag that contradicts everything our Country flag represents, it shouldn’t fly. We ALL stand united.”

USC men’s basketball coach Frank Martin said on Twitter: “I am on vacation out of the country but I applaud and support @RayTannerSC @HarrisPastides @nikkihaley @SteveBenjaminSC proud 2 stand with u.”

USC president Harris Pastides on Monday also called for the flag to come down.

A compromise was reached in 2000 to move the flag from atop the Capitol dome to a Confederate monument on the State House grounds.

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