Battle over Confederate flag unfurls in S. Carolina and beyond

COLUMBIA, S.C., (Reuters) – An initiative to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House grounds picked up steam on Tuesday, a week after the massacre of nine black church members, and criticism over the emblem long associated with slavery spread to other U.S. southern states.

U.S. retailers joined lawmakers in distancing themselves from the banner, with industry leaders Amazon.com Inc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc pulling the images of the rebel flag from their stores and websites, joining Google Inc , Sears Holdings Corp and eBay Inc .

The Civil War-era flag of the South’s pro-slavery Confederacy has become a lightning rod for outrage over the shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, which authorities say was motivated by racial hatred.

In Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, hundreds of people chanted “Take it down,” while state lawmakers voted on Tuesday to open debate on removing the Confederate flag from the State House grounds.

Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man charged with nine counts of murder for the shooting at the church last Wednesday, had posed with a Confederate flag in photos posted online with a racist manifesto.

Just hours after politicians in several southern states began calling for the removal of the Confederate flag on Monday, some of the nation’s largest retailers announced they were halting sales of related merchandise.

Prominent U.S. flag makers said on Tuesday they would stop manufacturing and selling Confederate flags. “We hope that this decision will show our support for those affected by the recent events in Charleston and, in some small way, help to foster racial unity and tolerance in our country,” the Pennsylvania-based Valley Forge Flag company said in a statement.

The debate over the rebel flag spread to other southern states on Tuesday. In Mississippi, the state which still most prominently incorporates the “Stars and Bars” in its flag, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn became the first Republican in state history to publicly support a flag change when he called the Confederate emblem “a point of offense that needs to be removed.”

Comments  

Corporate partners cut cord with NRA as gun control debate rages

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – The fallout over this week’s shooting rampage at a Florida high school started to take its toll on National Rifle Association’s roster of corporate partners yesterday as a half dozen companies severed marketing ties with the gun advocacy organzation.

Canada’s Trudeau spurs criticism, raises eyebrows on India trip

OTTAWA/NEW DELHI,  (Reuters) – Canadian and Indian officials scrambled yesterday to explain how a convicted Sikh extremist was invited to a New Delhi reception for Justin Trudeau, the latest misstep in the Canadian prime minister’s bumpy eight-day trip to India.

Eight Gupta firms seek insolvency protection in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG,  (Reuters) – At least eight companies owned by the wealthy Gupta family accused of corrupt ties to former president Jacob Zuma, have filed for protection from creditors, documents showed yesterday.

All that jazz: Saudis attend country’s first jazz festival

RIYADH,  (Reuters) – Men and women swayed to music at Saudi Arabia’s first-ever jazz festival yesterday, the second of a three-day outdoor event that showcases the Kingdom’s recent efforts of shedding its conservative image.

U.S. imposes more North Korea sanctions, Trump warns of ‘phase two’

WASHINGTON/SEOUL,  (Reuters) – The United States said yesterday it was imposing its largest package of sanctions to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear missile program, and President Donald Trump warned of a “phase two” that could be “very, very unfortunate for the world” if the steps did not work.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×