South Carolina Governor Does Total 180 on Confederate Flag

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley did a very abrupt about-face on the question of flying the Confederate flag over the state capitol. After years of supporting it, now she is calling on the state legislature to pass a law forbidding it and says she’ll call them into special session if they don’t.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on Monday called on lawmakers to take down the Confederate battle flag in the state capitol, a week after a white gunman allegedly shot dead nine black worshipers at a historic church.

The flag at the State House grounds in Columbia became a fresh focus of criticism in recent days after the Charleston church massacre, which federal authorities are investigating as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated terrorism by accused gunman Dylann Roof, 21.

“It’s time to move the flag from the capitol grounds,” Haley, a Republican, told reporters. The flag was a symbol of the pro-slavery South during the U.S. Civil War. “This is a moment in which we can say that the flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state.”

How politically convenient for her. Her previous position was that the flag should stay up because she had talked to many CEOs around the state and none of them mentioned wanting it taken down. Now she’s apparently discovered that it isn’t only the opinions of CEOs that matter.

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  • theschwa

    “South Carolina Governor Does Total 180 on Confederate Flag”

    I cannot read the article at work, but was the 180 done with a motorcycle or skateboard? Also, I did not know the SC Governor was even in the X-Games!!

  • John Pieret

    Haley did a very abrupt about-face on the question of flying the Confederate flag

    Lindsey Graham too.

  • eric

    I would hope that such a tragedy would change some minds on the issue of race in America and especially the south. Seems a bit ungracious and counter-productive to point fingers and yell ‘hypocrite’ at the people who change their minds.

    Now granted, as a politician we probably all expect that Governor Haley hasn’t actually gone through some tragedy-spurred change of heart. Its more realistic to think that either she’s pandering to liberals, or she was pandering to conservatives before…and either way, she probably thinks today about the Confederate flag exactly what she thought about it last week. But at the end of the day I care less about what goes on inside her head and more about what policies she enacts. So go for it, Nikki. See if you can get that lock off the flag box. I’ll be cheering that you can, even if you’re just doing it to shill for votes.

  • eoraptor

    Who is to say that the CEOs didn’t mention it before because it didn’t enter their minds? But, after the shooting, those CEOs had a come-to-Mammon moment.

    Also, not really a 180. She called for the flag to be moved from the capitol grounds. Like, maybe, to her front porch?

  • Steve Sirhan

    It’s a head fake about better massaging of symbols, Ed. And it’s probably partially because Huckleberry J. Butchmeup (think about it) is calling in some chits to help his presidential campaign not look quite so racist:

  • Modusoperandi

    I hope you people are happy. If this keeps up Us Conservatives won’t have any symbols of Southern Culture® left to celebrate! Every time you people do this we have to coat it in a new layer of veneer! Do you know how hard it is to come up with new dogwhistles for old fears?

  • Synfandel

    I watched Governor Haley’s speech on CNN. It was as much sermon as speech.

    I want to talk a little bit about the heart of our state. I want to talk about the people of South Carolina I’m so proud to serve. … We are strong people who love God, our families, and have a deep faith.

    Et cetera.

    I couldn’t help thinking that, although we don’t have a formal, constitutional separation of church and state in my country, if one of our heads of government was that blatantly religious in a speech, there would be a price. Intense religiosity is viewed here with some suspicion. It’s always jarring when I see American politicians wallowing in it.

  • JustaTech

    Given that the last time a governor of SC tried to get the stars and bars removed from the capitol grounds he lost his next election, I think this is a case of Governor Haley reading the political winds carefully and wanting to catch them quickly. And it’s not just SC, Mississippi is actually talking (again) about changing their state flag to get rid of the Confederate flag that is part of it.

    Like Eric said, I don’t really care why it goes so long as it goes!

  • Modusoperandi

    JustaTech, actually the stains on the state undershirt that serves as Mississippi’s flag only look like the Confederate battle flag.

  • Alverant
  • Modusoperandi

    Alverant, obviously. You people play the Long Game. Once you America-hating, Homo-Leftist, Secular-Communists have have banned the Confederate flag and the American flag there will finally be nothing stopping you from flying your Muslin flag!

  • Steve Sirhan
  • Michael Heath

    Not one story I’ve seen reports a conservative Christian admitting that the confederate flag promotes the de-humanization and abuse of black people and that’s the reason it should be taken down. Instead we get mealy mouth cowardly shit; e.g., Mitt Romney:

    Take down the #ConfederateFlag at the SC Capitol. To many, it is a symbol of racial hatred. Remove it now to honor #Charleston victims.

    Conservative Christians can’t admit the obvious. They can’t ever examine the systemic failures they nearly always make and nearly always will make unless they fundamentally change their thinking; which they’re incapable of doing. So they will always be in moral retreat while avoiding the fact they’re in moral retreat. They merely attempt to contain the symptoms of their thinking rather than actually confronting the root causes of their voluminous failures and then having the courage to do better.

  • busterggi

    Dont worry Rethugs, this is just symbolic – you can continue being racists.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    And Limbaugh says it’s a plot to ban the Confederate flag then the US flag.

    Well Rush has always said it’s just a matter of time before the flag of Mexico flies over Washington.

  • John Pieret

    South Carolina State Rep. Doug Brannon told NPRE yesterday that the flag should come down but he made a more important point: the flag was never about heritage. It wasn’t flown at the statehouse from the end of the Civil War until the 1960s, when it was put up in reaction to the desegregation laws.

    Brannon is a Republican in a conservative district. We have to give credit when credit is due!

  • StevoR

    I know this article violates Godwins law but dam it also makes a good case :

    Excerpt :

    [the confederate flag is ] .. still about white power. It’s still about slavery and historic abuse of minorities. It’s still about a fantasy world that never existed. It stands for all three of those things, just like the Swastika does.

    The American swastika equivalent -yes, I think it is. And would any who defend flying the confederate battle-flag be equally willing to use the exact same and equally applicable to fly the nazi one?

  • dingojack

    Yes Limbaugh – nothing says ‘pro-America’ like the flag of a group that treasonously declared war on the US over their desire to keep one segment of their population as slaves!



  • sezme

    Why does Haley need to convene the legislature? Is it SC law that mandates the confederate flag be flown. Why can’t she just order it down NOW?

  • Brian Murtagh

    sezme, the answer is yes, it actually is there by mandate of a law. There is a bill in process to remove it that (assuming it passes) will take effect upon signature of the Governor.

  • tfkreference

    In Haley’s speech, she said that there were two types of people in the state: those who don’t think about the flag and those who see it as a symbol of slavery and want it removed. She apparently forgot those who see it as a symbol of slavery and want it flown from the highest heights.

  • minnupatel

    yes the flag should flown from the heights as it represents slavery

  • Steve Sirhan

    Next head fake, perhaps, per NPR’s Morning Edition, may be to call Dylann Roof “white trash” rather than being driven by racism:

  • colnago80

    Re dingojack @ #18

    Now come on dingo, you know very well that the Civil War was fought over the ownership of coal mines in West Virginia (sometimes I really miss ole Don Williams).

  • Raging Bee

    Yes, sezme, that flag is there by law, and the law says you need a two-thirds majority of the SC lege to remove it.

    And it was placed there in 1962, as an explicit gesture of defiance toward US desegregation policy. So that flag was then, as it was in the 1860s, a consciously-adopted symbol of rebellion against the US Constitution and all of the principles it embodies. It is a flag of secession from the US, and of rejection of the US Constitution and of the individual rights described in it.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Can we maybe drop the idea that any mention of or comparison to nazis violates Godwin’s law?

  • colnago80

    Re Steve Sirhan @ #23

    I don’t know about Dylann but his father certainly appears to be a wife beating, red neck, white trash scumbag. The apple seems not to have fallen far from the tree here.

  • StevoR

    @26. sigurd jorsalfar : I don’t understand. Could you elaborate on that some please? Do you mean on this thread or for this example or completely everywhere or .. what?