Republican Governor Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate flag in the capital of South Carolina Monday, after pressure from many who called the flag racist and divisive.
The pressure was mounting, after a white supremacist opened fire on an historic church in Charleston, killing nine black people.
Governor Haley earlier had defended the flag as a symbol of Southern pride and history, but as a compromise to remove it, she has proposed replacing it with another symbol of Southern pride, the flag from the 1970’s-80’s show, The Dukes of Hazzard.
Calling the Confederate flag “a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally offensive past,” Haley insisted the new state flag would conjure up only positive remembrances of the 1969 Dodge Charger known as General Lee.
Most applauded her change in opinion regarding the flag but some argued that her about face is nothing more than another Confederate flag, albeit one that’s bordered in burnt orange.
“Today we are here in a moment of unity in our state, without ill will, to say it’s time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds and raise another, better symbol that we all are proud to salute,” said the 2nd term Republican governor, and first woman to ever serve as South Carolina’s highest in command.
When asked about her sudden turnabout on the issue of the flag, her spokesman insisted that the killings at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church last Wednesday had such an emotional impact on her that she felt like she had to make a change. “A symbolic change,” he was sure to add.
“Not a substantial change like gun restrictions or harsher hate crime legislation or anything crazy like that, but something that proves she’s paying attention.” Critics of the Governor insist that she’s merely caving in to the pressure in such a way to honor her recent Netflix bingeing.
Once regarded as a symbol of sacrifice to South Carolina’s Civil War ancestors to some, the Confederate flag has flown above the capitol since 1962. Several organizations, including the NAACP, are applauding Haley’s stand.
Cornell Williams Brooks, chief executive of the national NAACP and a fellow South Carolinian had this to say in support of the flag replacement: “Bringing that flag down is a symbol to the rest of the country. It’s a symbol that South Carolina stands against racism and in support of Dukes of Hazzard reruns.”
Meanwhile on the other side of the spectrum, the Council of Conservative Christians are also hailing the proposal as a step in the right direction. “Who among us doesn’t believe that Bo and Luke, the Duke Brothers, and the lovely Daisy aren’t worthy of historic relevance,” said CCC’s President, Earl Holt.
The proposal to replace the flag will head to the state congress tomorrow. It is expected to pass the state house and senate with flying colors.