Tags: Confederate Flag | Newsmax TV | The Hard Line | Greg Stewart | Sons of Confederate Veterans | South Carolina

Sons of Confederate Vets' Official: Flag Removal a 'Knee-Jerk Reaction'

By    |   Friday, 10 Jul 2015 08:27 PM

The Confederate flag's removal from the grounds of the state capitol in South Carolina
was a "knee-jerk reaction" by politicians who bypassed the public's "interest in having a voice in this," Sons of Confederate Veterans official Greg Stewart tells Newsmax TV.

In an interview Friday with "The Hard Line" host Ed Berliner, the chief of protocol in Mississippi for the group that owns and operates the Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library, noted the controversy began with the "terrible tragedy" of a "deranged" Dylann Roof, who shot nine black worshipers at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C.

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But the widespread call for the flag's removal that followed was "a knee-jerk reaction."

"It's obviously the political class that has traded the public's interest in having a voice in this for their own political aspirations," he said. "It's no secret that Nikki Haley wanted to stay on the shortlist for [vice presidential] candidates and maybe she's delivered – but it came at the expense of the people of South Carolina having a meaningful conversation."

Stewart acknowledged the racial undertones that have come to be associated with the Confederate flag, but argued the "flag itself was never an official flag of the Confederate government."

"It was a soldier's flag," he said. "The soldiers liked it and that was established after the war. It became their banner. When Congress did what they did" Thursday, scrapping plans to vote on approving the display of the Confederate flag at historic federal cemeteries, "how ridiculous is that to suggest that you can honor a soldier by not allowing his flag to be placed at his grave?"

Stewart said it's not clear how far the flag removal issue will extend, declaring, "It will go as far as the political class wants to take it."

"The public does not want to do this," he insisted. "This has gone as far as it can go I hope, but at least in Mississippi we're seeing that our legislators are listening to the people and … we'll have a thoughtful and lengthy discussion and Mississippi will do it right."

"If we have to go back to it, the people will get to vote on it," he said.

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The Confederate flag's removal from the grounds of the state capitol in South Carolina was a "knee-jerk reaction" by politicians who bypassed the public's "interest in having a voice in this," Sons of Confederate Veterans official Greg Stewart tells Newsmax TV.
Greg Stewart, Sons of Confederate Veterans, South Carolina
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2015-27-10
Friday, 10 Jul 2015 08:27 PM
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