Outrage at the Confederate flag that flies above the South Carolina state capitol continues to grow as crowds gather to protest the flag and demand that it be removed from the grounds. Over a thousand people gathered at the capitol to rally. Chants of “Take it Down!” could be heard throughout the area amid prayers for the victims of last week’s vicious attack by 21-year-old gunman Dylann Roof.
The country continues to express their emotions at the Confederate flag that symbolizes black oppression of an earlier time. Roof was seen in his social media postings posing with the Confederate flag.
Removal of the flag is gaining approval in the House and Senate as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle come forward and say it should be removed. Last week’s shootings took the lives of one of the state Senate’s members, Rev. Clementa Pinckney.
Lawmakers are beginning their debate on whether to remove the flag today after South Carolina’s governor, Nikki Haley, called for the flag’s removal on Monday. It will take a 2/3 majority vote by both the House and Senate to undo the law that requires the flag to fly at the capitol.
About three-quarter’s of the residents in the state that is mostly white are opposed to the flag being removed, while well over half of the African-American populations says it should come down. Supporters of the “Stars and Bars” continuing to fly at the capitol say that the flag is a symbol of the South’s history and culture and is a memorial to the hundreds of thousands of casualties of the Civil War.
The flag was removed from the State Capitol Dome 15 years ago and relocated to state property where it flies now. The flag remained at full mast as opposed to the other flags that flew at half-mast following the church massacre that took the lives of nine during a bible study class.
The nation’s leading merchants have spoken as well, and retailers that include Sears, Kmart, eBay, Amazon and Walmart have banned the sale of the flag.
A spokesman for Sears and Kmart said that they do not sell the Confederate flag in their stores and will remove any merchandise that features the flag by third-party online vendors.
“We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the confederate flag from our assortment — whether in our stores or on our web site,” said Walmart spokesman Brian Nick. “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.”
Sales of Confederate flags was up considerably on Amazon as of Monday as buyers scurry to grab the items before they become unavailable.