Pressure is growing for the divisive Confederate battle flag to be removed from South Carolina’s State House grounds.
Ever since the suspect in the Charleston shooting was seen posing with one, the flag has become a focus of anger for many in the town.
State governor Nikki Haley agrees it should be removed:
“This is a moment in which we can say that that flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state. The murderer now locked up in Charleston said he hoped his actions would start a race war. We have an opportunity to show that not only was he wrong, but that just the opposite is happening.”
The flag is considered an emblem of slavery since it was taken up by the Confederate South in the US civil war. Today it has become a rallying symbol for racism and xenophobia .
Twenty-one -year-old Dylan Roof who allegedly shot dead nine back worshipers last week as they attended an African.American church ,is believed to have embraced the flag as a symbol of white supremacy.
Wal-Mart Stores, the biggest US retailer has said it is pulling all Confederate flag merchandise from its shops.
However supporters who fly the flag at their homes, wear it on clothing and put it on bumper stickers, see it as a symbol of the South’s history and culture, as well as a memorial to the roughly 480,000 Confederate casualties during the 1861-65 Civil War.
Twitter reaction to the flag issue: