South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley tweeted yesterday that there's only room for state and federal flags at the state house. In a press conference at her state's Capitol, days after a 21-year-old white racist shot nine African Americans in a prayer meeting, she announced her decision to bring down the rebel flag.
"Today, we are here in a moment of unity in our state, without ill will, to say it is time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds," the Republican and mother of two said to a crowd, that included GOP senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott. The announcement was met with applause.
Support for taking down the flag, a symbol of the South's slave-holding past, has been growing in the aftermath of the devastating shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last Wednesday. Dylann Roof, 21, who's being charged with murder and hate crimes, was pictured with the Confederate flag, which has flown over the South Carolina state house for decades, despite requests by individuals and groups opposing its symbolism to have it taken down.
State lawmakers approved measures today to discuss the flag removal, according to the Los Angeles Times, but that debate will happen only after budgetary issues are resolved. Removal of the flag will take a two-thirds vote.