Correction: A previous version of this post state that the Confederate Flag still flies above the South Carolina capitol in Columbia. That is incorrect. The flag was taken down 15 years ago and flies over a memorial on capitol grounds. I apologize for the error.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has called for the removal of the Confederate Flag after the killing of nine black worshippers by a white racist last week at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston. Senators Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham and RNC Chairman Reince Preibus have also called for its removal.
"Now is the time to do what is right, and I support the call by Governor Haley and South Carolina leaders to remove the Confederate battle flag from state house grounds. This flag has become too divisive and too hurtful for too many of our fellow Americans. While some say it represents different things to different people, there is no denying that it also represents serious divisions that must be mended in our society. For South Carolina, taking down this Confederate flag is a step in mending those divisions. Our future must be better than our past. We are not meant to be a country divided by racial tensions; we are meant to be a country that stands united," Priebus said in a statement Monday afternoon. “Our prayers are with the people of South Carolina during these difficult times."
Over the weekend national debate raged as the flag, which many see as a sign of slavery and racism, continued to fly over a confederate memorial on capitol grounds in Columbia. The state legislature held a special session today to debate whether to remove the flag in light of recent events and over the weekend, thousands of protestors stood outside the State House demanding it be taken down.
Former GOP presidential candidate and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has been calling for it's removal for years, but reiterated his stance over the weekend. President Obama and a number of other Democrats have called for it to be placed in a museum.
The legislature will vote this week on whether the Confederate flag will stay or go.
This post has been updated with additional information.