In South Carolina, U.S. And State Flag Fly Half Mast, Confederate Flag Flies High (IMAGES)

As it should be, flags at the South Carolina Capitol are flying at half mast after the horrible shooting at the Charleston church on Wednesday that left 9 parishioners dead. Most puzzling, though, is the flag that’s not flying at half mast- the Confederate flag.

This is inappropriate on a normal day, but today is not a normal day. An African-American church was just attacked by a white supremacist gunman. The flag that the state of South Carolina flies so high, even when official flags are lowered out of respect, is one of hate, white supremacy, of slavery, of secession, of treason and of a very violent past. Not only should the Confederate flag not be flying at full mast, it should not be flying at all.

But why is it flying in South Carolina? Because it’s their history, which, by the way, includes a deep history of attacks on black churches. Dylann Roof is an angry white supremacist and he represents everything the Confederate flag stands for.

Last year, during a gubernatorial debate, Governor Nikki Haley (R) defended the flag after her opponent said that young people and businesses are leaving the state, in part because of the image presented by the flag. She denied that, saying:

“What I can tell you is over the last three and a half years, I spent a lot of my days on the phones with CEOs and recruiting jobs to this state. I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag,” she said.

Source: Talking Points Memo

Haley is also defending the flag now. Her press secretary said, “In South Carolina, the governor does not have the legal authority to alter the flag. Only the General Assembly can do that.”

Unfortunately, the Confederate flag remains a point of controversy. People who fly it see it as a badge of freedom and identity. People fly it in their yards, they wear it on their bodies and even on their cars and maybe that’s fine, but to fly the flag of the Confederacy on a taxpayer owned building is another thing and should be banned.

Featured image via Wikimedia.