Gov. Nikki R. Haley of South Carolina was surrounded by lawmakers on Monday after she decided that South Carolina’s Confederate flag needed to be removed. So, that’s how she feels.
“It came down to one simple thing,” Ms. Haley said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I couldn’t look my son or daughter in the face and justify that flag flying anymore.”
“The South Carolina I am privileged to lead today is not the South Carolina I grew up in,” she said. “It has continued to change and it has continued to evolve. It is the people who have done that.” One of the Republican state senators, Jake Knotts, also went on a radio show and stupidly called her a “raghead.” The governor said Democrats also dealt insensitively with her, apparently State Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter once claimed that voters did not view her as a minority, but as “a nice conservative woman with a tan.”
Governor Haley’s new stand on the Confederate flag may raise her national stature, allowing her to distance herself from a symbol that many are finding increasingly indefensible. In other words, she’s progressive. At least on this issue, which was an “emotional” one for her. But, Haley was also careful to acknowledge the slew of white men there who think og the flag as means of honoring the Confederate dead. “That is not hate,” she said, “Nor is it racism.”
How do you feel about South Carolina’s Confederate flag?