As many critics call on South Carolina to take down the Confederate flag flying near its statehouse, the White House reiterated President Obama’s stance on the symbol.
Obama believes “the Confederate flag belongs in a museum,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters aboard Air Force One Friday.
Since the death of nine African-American including a state Senator in a massacre where the alleged suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, appeared to be motivated by race, the Confederate flag has flown high in the grounds near state capitol even as Dylann Storm Roof, have as the U.S. and South Carolina flags been lowered to half-staff.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has defended the Confederate flag in the past, arguing in 2014 that she has not “had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag.” She said this week that she didn’t have the legal authority to take it down, but that she expected to have a “conversation” about it with her constituents.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham told CNN Friday it’s up to South Carolinians, but that the flag “is part of who we are.”
Meanwhile, the NAACP and others are lobbying that remove the flag from the statehouse grounds, especially given that Roof was photographed in front of a car thought to be his with a Confederate flag license plate.
“The fact is, here in 2015 in South Carolina, we still fly the Confederate flag on our statehouse grounds,” Lonnie Randolph, the president of the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP, said Thursday. “How many other states in America do that?”