Governor Nikki Haley, along with other top South Carolina lawmakers, called on the state legislature Monday to remove the Confederate Battle flag from the grounds of the State House.
Haley made the announcement Monday afternoon inside the State House, flanked by a bipartisan group that included U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, as well as former governor, and now Congressman Mark Sanford and Congressman Jim Clyburn.
“Today, we are here in a moment of unity in our state, without ill will, to say it is time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds,” said Haley, a statement that was met with nearly 40 seconds of applause throughout the capitol. “One hundred fifty years after the end of the Civil War the time has come.”
Any removal of the flag would require approval by at least two-thirds of state legislators — first to even take up the issue in special summer session and again to change a 2000 law that moved the flag from the Statehouse dome to its grounds. Haley on Monday threatened to order the legislature back into session if they do not take up the bill before adjourning for good this year.