The American flag and the South Caroline flag were lowered to half staff at the South Carolina statehouse today, in mourning for the nine African American people murdered yesterday by a racial terrorist.
But the Confederate battle flag, the flag of treason and slavery, remains at full staff.
Internet chatter lit up about the debate Thursday.
“When you fly the Confederate flag in your state capital you are sanctioning this terrorism. Just FYI,” Roxane Gay said on Twitter.
The “ubiquity of the Confederate flag in the South should be a source of shame/outrage. Not here for any lame-ass ‘history’ arguments,” said LadyHawkins, also on Twitter.
Officials said the reason why the flag has not been touched is that its status is outlined, by law, as being under the protected purview of the full S.C. Legislature, which controls if and when it comes down.
State law reads, in part, the state “shall ensure that the flags authorized above shall be placed at all times as directed in this section and shall replace the flags at appropriate intervals as may be necessary due to wear.”
The protection was added by supporters of the flag to keep it on display as an officially recognized memorial to South Carolinians who fought in the Civil War. Opponents say it defends a system that supported slavery and represents hate groups.
In a show of respect, a brief recognition ceremony was held in the Senate chamber Thursday. The U.S. and South Carolina flags were lowered from the dome. The square Confederate banner that’s in front of the building and on display at the Confederate monument was left alone.We American white people like to think that our country is better than all the others in the world, that there is something "exceptional" about the United States. But consider: in the United States it is legal to fly the flag of treason and slavery, the flag of those who defended the inhuman system of slavery that lasted for hundreds of years. White people claim that they are defending their "heritage" when they fly it. The heritage of treason, the heritage of slavery, the heritage of the lash, the heritage of hatred, the heritage of selling children away from their parents and husbands away from their wives.
In Germany, where I am living this year, it is illegal to fly a Nazi flag or to give the Nazi salute. Public expressions of antisemitism are illegal. You can get arrested for doing these things.
Why do people still fly the Confederate flag proudly? They should be ashamed of it just as most Germans are ashamed of the Nazi flag and the crimes it stands for.