Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) on Wednesday morning ordered workers to take down a Confederate flag that flew over a war memorial on the state capitol grounds, AL.com reported.
Bentley’s order was carried out around 8:20 a.m. local time with little fanfare, according to the news site.
The governor acknowledged giving the order while answering questions from reporters outside the state Capitol. He said that he was motivated “partially” by the massacre of nine black churchgoers last week in Charleston, South Carolina.
“This is the right thing to do,” Bentley said, as quoted by AL.com. “We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with. This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down.”
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R) call for legislators to take the necessary steps to remove the “stars and bars” from that state’s capitol grounds has spurred other elected officials in the South to take action on the flag and other symbols of the Confederacy over the last few days.
This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.