announcement by SC Governor Nikki Haley, flanked by US Senators Scott and Graham, and backed by RNC chair Reince Priebus, that the Confederate flag should no longer be flown at the State Capitol, was a decision that was some time in coming, but I think it's only right. And I know some might detract from that decision saying it only came about because of the tragic loss of life that just recently happened, but I would say that it happens at all is meaningful.
This comes shortly after a decision by SCOTUS that the state of Texas could not be obliged to have that particular symbol on their license plates. It was followed by an announcement by Walmart that they would cease to sell any Confederate-flag related merchandise, and a statement from a Mississippi legislator that their state should consider also removing that symbol.
It has never seemed right to me that this particular flag has come to symbolize the South, in the sense that it has been flown in states where, for African Americans and for white people who haven't any drop of racial animus, it represents their state even if it doesn't represent their views at all, and enables the lazy assumption that Confederate dead-enders is what those states were about. It's been a symbol that divided us unnecessarily in these United States, and in my snotty-ass Yankee way, I'm going to admit I wouldn't be sad to see it go. Other people may have their ideas about what it represents to them, but to too many people, it does say "Treason in defense of slavery." And the very best intentions of those flying those colors can't overcome that this is how that symbol is read.
That this flag has been handled by racist fuckwits in white hoods or camo shouldn't carry a backwash of hateful associations on a geographical area. I don't feel it has been representative of most people, and that's the problem. And I think reticence to pull it down has been a deference to a notion that might not even be as popular regarding that dear Old Dixie as we've come to believe, particularly from "outsiders". Maybe it just took the right timing for people to exhale and let that symbol go. But it never was my flag, so I can't say that with the greatest assurance--
Although I will link to one of my dead and dearest authors a moment to cite his gripe with the Confederate flag and 2008 Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. Because this is the kind of cheap appeal to an idea of "the base" that I think has been wrong and too long in getting fixed.
It bothers me that an appeal to racism is considered an appeal to conservatism. I don't know that we should be considering those things intertwined, and I appreciate that not all conservatives stand for that--I just applaud moments like this when they visibly stand against it instead of reinforcing that "should've died with Atwater" southern strategy stuff.