CHARLESTON, South Carolina — For 15 years, South Carolina lawmakers have refused to revisit the Confederate flag’s flying on Statehouse grounds, saying the 2000 law that took it off the dome was a bipartisan compromise and renewing that debate would unnecessarily expose divisive wounds.
But opinions changed within five days of the massacre of nine people at a black church in Charleston, as a growing tide of Republicans joined the call to put the battle flag in a museum.
On Monday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley not only called for the flag’s removal, but pledged to order legislators back to Columbia for another special session if they don’t deal with it themselves.
Removing the flag won’t be easy, despite the shifting sentiment. A two-thirds majority will be needed to bring it down.