Opinions on the future of the Confederate battle flag have been abundant since the June 17 slayings of nine parishioners at the Mother Emmanuel A.M.E. church in Charleston. This roundup includes views from other South Carolina newspapers:
The flag session
On that night three weeks before the House’s historic vote, it would have been impossible for anyone to predict how our state would be unexpectedly and almost exclusively focused for 21 days on a race-related attack on a Bible study group and then the urgent need to remove the Confederate flag from the front of the Capitol.
Those nine African-American Christians were killed because of the color of their skin and the hatred that consumed their attacker. Their families’ grace-filled response in the face of such extraordinary loss touched the soul of South Carolina and stirred legislators to move the Confederate flag to a museum where it has belonged all along.
This legislative year that just ended will now be known for one thing, and one thing only. When thrust into a debate that no one could have imagined on the afternoon on June 17, Gov. Nikki Haley and an overwhelming majority of state legislators rose to the historic occasion. Starting with Haley’s remarkable display of leadership less than a week after the murders, the state moved with urgent decisiveness to remove the divisive symbol on the Statehouse grounds.
Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, who has been the target of intense criticism by Democrats since her election in 2010, has been a symbol of unity on the flag issue.
In leading the call for removal of the Confederate banner, Haley has drawn surprising praise from GOP supporters previously opposed to removing the flag as well as foes who have accused the governor of pandering to archconservatives on nearly every issue.
In response to the legislative votes to remove the flag, Haley issued a statement titled, “We continue to heal, as one people and one state.” …
Moving forward together means addressing real-life issues that affect South Carolinians in ways beyond symbols such as a flag.
Our hope is the unity on display in South Carolina since the Charleston church massacre will not be lost as those with agendas push South Carolina Republicans and Democrats to retreat into division based on partisan politics.
Times & Democrat
There were numerous pointless, time-consuming amendments to remove each monument at the Statehouse and replace it with shrubbery. One amendment called for the American flag at the Statehouse to be flown upside down.
And there was extensive discussion over an amendment to have an advisory statewide referendum to determine where the electorate stood on the issue. Of course, such a referendum couldn’t be held until 2016, or acted on before 2017. So it would have served to delay action for the long term.
Fortunately, those who supported the simple restorative act of bringing the flag down were clearly as committed to that goal as their counterparts in the Senate, which voted 36-3 to do so on Tuesday.
Post & Courier