In what will be a somewhat unexpected (though long overdue) move, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham will reportedly call for the Confederate flag to be taken down on Monday. According to CNN, Graham is expected to make the announcement during a press conference with Governor Nikki Haley. The national spotlight on the flag's inarguable affiliation with hate, divisiveness, and — above all else — flagrant racism was reinvigorated following the recent act of domestic terrorism in South Carolina — the Charleston Church Massacre.
As Dylann Roof's white supremacist background was immediately made common knowledge, the baffling presence of the Confederate flag across the state of South Carolina became a source of heated contention between politicians and citizens alike. However, the issue soon crossed party lines — with President Barack Obama retweeting former presidential candidate (and Obama's rival) Mitt Romney's criticism of the flag:
Early Monday, news broke that Republican state Rep. Doug Brannon planned to introduce a bill to swiftly remove the flag — a party-resistant move that Brannon says will likely cost him a re-election. "I've been in the House five years," says Brannon. "I should have filed that bill five years ago. But the time is now [and] I can't let my friend [Senator Clementa Pinckney]'s death go without fundamental change in South Carolina."
More to come.
According to CBS News, Senator Tim Scott will also join Graham and Haley's call for the Confederate flag to be removed from state grounds. Interestingly, Scott is one of only two (!) black U.S. senators.