Tag: Governor Nikki Haley

South Carolina Gov. Signs Law to Remove Confederate Flag; Signing Pens to Go to Church Shooting Victims’ Families

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Governor Nikki Haley signs law to take down Confederate Flag (photo via ktla.com)

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a historic bill Thursday that will remove the Confederate battle flag from the state Capitol grounds, where it has been a source of friction for more than half a century.

Haley’s signature ends the fighting over the flag, seen as an emblem of Southern heritage by some but condemned as a symbol of racial oppression by others.

The flag flew over the dome of South Carolina’s Capitol in 1961 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the war — and stayed as a protest to the civil rights movement that shattered Jim Crow segregationist laws across the South. After protests from civil rights leaders, the battle flag was moved in 2000 from the dome to its current location on the Capitol’s front lawn.

Haley said the flag will “come down with dignity” at 10 a.m. Eastern time Friday. The banner will be taken to the state’s Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum for display.

“The Confederate flag is coming off the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse,” Haley told the overflow crowd. “We will bring it down with dignity and we will make sure it is stored in its rightful place.”

Haley had called for removal of the flag in the wake of the June 17 massacre of nine black parishioners at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston. A white man, Dylann Roof, who had apparently espoused racist ideologies and who had been photographed with Confederate symbols, is being held on nine murder counts and other charges.

Relatives of those slain at the church were among those in the racially diverse crowd who watched the governor use several pens to sign the legislation, whose passage was all but impossible before the church shootings. The governor praised the dead for changing the debate about the flag and race relations.  “These nine pens are going to the families of the Emanuel Nine,” Haley said after signing the bill into law. “Nine amazing individuals who have forever changed South Carolina history.

Continue reading “South Carolina Gov. Signs Law to Remove Confederate Flag; Signing Pens to Go to Church Shooting Victims’ Families”

WAVE GOODBYE! South Carolina House Votes to Remove Confederate Flag From Capitol Grounds

Jalaludin Abdul-Hamid, a protester against the Confederate flag that flies outside the South Carolina Statehouse, speaks to a flag supporter Tuesday.
Jalaludin Abdul-Hamid, a protester against the Confederate flag that flies outside the South Carolina Statehouse, speaks to a flag supporter Tuesday. (Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Updated at 2:15 a.m. ET Thursday: Final Vote

Early Thursday morning, lawmakers in the South Carolina House approved a Senate bill that removes the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds. The measure passed by a two-thirds margin and now goes to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk. The Associated Press reports: As House members deliberated well into the night, there were tears of anger and shared memories of Civil War ancestors. Black Democrats, frustrated at being asked to show grace to Civil War soldiers as the debate wore on, warned the state was embarrassing itself.

Original Post:

The idea of removing the Confederate battle flag from a prominent place in front of South Carolina’s Statehouse gets a crucial test Wednesday, when the state House of Representatives votes on a bill that would put the flag in a relic room.

Today’s vote is pivotal: under South Carolina’s legislative system, bills must be read and voted upon three times. The first vote is normally to introduce the bill; that happened Tuesday, after it was approved by the Senate. The third vote is often a formality.

By mid-day, the bill had been stalled by a host of amendments offered by opponents to removing the Confederate banner. One measure calls for planting flowers in the spot where the flag now flies.

We’ll update this post with news from Columbia, S.C., where the House is considering the bill. The action comes two weeks after Gov. Nikki Haley and other leaders called for the flag to come down.

article by Bill Chappell via npr.org

South Carolina Senate Votes to Remove Confederate Flag From State Capitol Grounds; House Vote Still Needed

Calls For Removal Of Confederate Flag Outside SC Statehouse Grow In Wake Of Race-Fueled Charleston Church Shooting

UPDATE: Monday, July 6, 2015 4:50 PM EST

In a 37-3 vote, the South Carolina Senate decided to remove the Confederate flag from State House grounds.  But the physical act of removing the flag may take some time, NBC notes.

The movement to take down the flag has two more hurdles: The bill needs to pass with a two-thirds vote in the South Carolina House, which is likely to be a tougher struggle than in the Senate. Several powerful House Republicans, including Speaker Jay Lucas, have not yet said how they’ll vote. If the bill passes the house, it would head to the desk of Gov. Nikki Haley, who has said the flag’s removal would be a way to honor the nine black victims gunned down by a white gunman at a Charleston church.

This is a developing story…

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Weeks after a gunman shot nine people in a racially fueled attack on Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME church, South Carolina lawmakers are set to debate whether to remove the Confederate battle flag from State House grounds, or leave it flying high.

The debate to remove the flag was sparked after photographs of accused AME gunman Dylann Roof holding the storied and hurtful reminder surfaced. Days after the shooting, Gov. Nikki R. Haley called for the flag’s removal.

In a weekend interview with NBC’s Today Show, Haley said the removal would be an action of respect.

“You always want to think that today is better than yesterday — that we’re growing as a state, we’re growing as a country. When something like this happens, you reflect, and you say: Have we changed enough?” she said.

“I don’t think this is going to be easy. I don’t think that it’s going to be painless, but I do think that it will be respectful, and that it will move swiftly.”

According to the New York Times, the State Senate, composed of other elected officials who stand with Haley, will consider a bipartisan proposal to remove the flag.

If the Senate approves the measure, the debate will shift to the House; Republicans control both chambers. A survey of lawmakers by The Associated Press, the South Carolina Press Association, and The Post and Courier, a newspaper in Charleston, found last month that there was most likely enough support in the legislature to approve the plan.

There are, however, dissenters, the Times points out.

“This flag is a part of our heritage, so the people of this state should have the final say,” Mr. Bright, a Republican of Spartanburg County, told supporters on Facebook on Wednesday. Mr. Bright, who sought the Republican nomination for a United States Senate seat last year, is also offering bumper stickers featuring the Confederate emblem and the message “Keep your hands off my flag” in exchange for campaign contributions.

A recent CNN poll echoes Bright’s sentiments — at least 57 percent of Americans see the flag as a symbol of Southern pride, not racism. But the flag, which flew high during a war fought to defend and justify slavery, dredges up the painful and horrific past of African-Americans in this country. On June 27, community organizer, activist, singer and North Carolina native Brittany “Bree” Newsome was arrested after she took it upon herself to scale the pole and remove the flag from State House grounds herself.

article by Christina Coleman via newsone.com

Walmart Says All Stores Will No Longer Carry Items with Confederate Flags

Walmart says in a statement released Monday it will no longer carry Confederate flag merchandise (Photo via goodblacknews.org)
Walmart says in a statement released Monday it will no longer carry Confederate flag merchandise (Photo via goodblacknews.org)

Walmart said in a statement Monday that it is removing “all items” promoting the Confederate flag for sale from its stores and its website.  The move came the same day that Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina called for the removal of a Confederate flag from the state Capitol grounds in Columbia. Her announcement in turn came in the wake of last week’s shooting at a historically black Charleston church that left nine dead.

Charged in the killing is Dylann Roof, 21, who is white and has been attributed with making white supremacist statements. He has been pictured with images of a Confederate flag.

“We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer,” Walmart spokesman Brian Nick said in an emailed statement. “We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the confederate flag from our assortment — whether in our stores or on our web site.”

The statement continued, apparently answering an inquiry from CNN that cited items for sale based on Confederate flag imagery that were available on Walmart.com. A story on CNN’s website said the Walmart statement was in response to a network inquiry about sales of Confederate flag-related items.

“We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell. Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly — this is one of those instances,” Nick said.

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer, with nearly 11,000 stores in 28 countries.

article by Ed Brackett via usatoday.com

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Finally Agrees Confederate Flag at State Capitol Must be removed

“This has been a very difficult time for our state,” Haley said. “We have stared evil in the eye. … Our state is grieving, but we are also coming together.”

“Today, we are here to say it is time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds,” said Haley, surrounded by top leaders including U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, both Republicans like the governor. The other politicians broke out in cheers during the announcement.

The decision follows days of protests inside the state and growing pressure on Republican leaders to back away from the flag.  Roof, 21, is being held on nine murder charges in connection with the shooting last Wednesday. Pictures of Roof have surfaced showing the high school dropout with the flag.

Though she sharply condemned the alleged shooter, Haley noted that the flag represents many positive things for people in her state.  “The hate-filled murderer has a sick and twisted view of the flag,” she said, adding, “we have changed through the times and we will continue to do so, but that doesn’t mean we forget our history.”

In calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from state grounds, Haley said: “My hope is that moving a symbol that divides we can move forward and honor the nine blessed souls who are in heaven.”

Religious and political leaders including Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. said earlier Monday that they would push for the flag’s removal when the Legislature returns.  Riley has led protest marches against the flag and has called for its removal from state grounds before.

“The time has come for the Confederate battle flag to move from a public position in front of the state Capitol to a place of history,” Riley said at a televised news conference. The flag “was appropriated years and years ago as a symbol of hate,” Riley said, and should be moved to a museum.

The Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III of the National Action Network said the flag should be removed before the body of state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who was killed in the attack, lies in state on Wednesday. Pinckney was also pastor of Emanuel AME.

Republicans, who control South Carolina’s state Legislature, have rebuffed many previous calls to remove the flag, which dates from the Civil War. For civil rights activists and many others, the flag is a racist symbol of the state’s slave past.  The flag has also been adopted by some white supremacist groups in modern times.

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Congressman Tim Scott to Become First Black Senator from the South Since Reconstruction

TimScottOrangeTieGovernor Nikki Haley of South Carolina announced she will tap Congressman Tim Scott for South Carolina’s vacant Senate seat. Rep. Scott’s appointment will make him the first black senator from the South since the 19th Century.

The Senate seat became vacant after Sen. Jim DeMint announced he was stepping down to take on a leadership role at the Heritage Foundation in January, causing many to wonder who Gov. Haley would pick to fill the vacancy.

After a lot of debate, Gov. Haley ended the speculation today when she announced that she was appointing Rep. Scott.

“It is with great pleasure that I am announcing our next U.S. senator to be Congressman Tim Scott,” Gov. Haley said. “I am strongly convinced that the entire state understands that this is the right U.S. senator for our state and our country.”

Rep. Scott, who was raised in a single-parent household, credited his mother’s guidance for positively affecting his life.

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