Some conservatives are outraged that South Carolina’s state legislature seems poised today to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds, including Republican Alabama Rep. Gary Palmer.
Palmer took to Matt Murphy’s radio show Monday to say calls for removal of the flag are coming from “people who have an agenda seeking to exploit a tragedy. And to me, that’s beyond contempt,” The Intercept reports.
Nearly a week after a racist allegedly killed nine in a historically black Charleston church, the Civil War symbol of the slave-owning South still flies over South Carolina’s statehouse.
Images that surfaced of alleged shooter Dylann Roof posing with Confederate flags and the galling sight of it flying at full staff after Wednesday’s violence have prompted everyone from Mitt Romney to John Oliver to demand it be taken down.
On Monday, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley also called for the removal of the Confederate flag, which flew at full-staff above the statehouse even as the state and US flag were at half-mast in mourning after the shooting. Nine were massacred, including State Senator Clementa Pinckney, who was the church pastor.
July 4th is just around the corner. It will be fitting that our state Capitol will soon fly the flags of our country & state, and no others.
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) June 22, 2015
Palmer isn’t the only lawmaker who thinks the flag should remain where it is. Republican senator Lee Bright called the movement to remove the flag a “Stalinist purge,” the Spartanburg Herald Journal reports. Bright said that just because the symbol has been “misused” doesn’t mean it should be banned, and it represents “honor” during the Civil War.
According to South Carolina law, the flag cannot be removed from its location atop the Confederate Soldier Monument without a two-thirds vote state lawmakers, the Washington Post reports. State officials will cast votes today on the fate of the flag.
The Post reports that authorities confirmed over the weekend a racist online manifesto was indeed written by Roof. The manifesto delineates Roof’s hatred of African Americans and contains references to the Confederacy and images of the Confederate flag.