Confederate flags may be flown on vehicles and at private residences in Alabama – and depicted on specialty license plates there – but they no longer grace the statehouse.
That flag and three other Civil War-era flags were removed from the state capitol and its grounds by the governor, Robert Bentley, who made the move on June 24, 2015, CNN reported.
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Bentley said the flags were a distraction to state business as lawmakers there reviewed a new state budget and other issues, CNN said.
"This is the right thing to do," said Bentley in an interview with AL.com.
"We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with. This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down."
However, Bentley's decision to remove the controversial flag was not without controversy itself. In July 2015, a lawsuit was filed against Bentley, saying he didn't have the authority to order the four flags removed, AL.com reported.
Also named in the lawsuit were the Alabama Historical Commission and its executive director.
The Confederate flag controversy came about after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, called for Confederate flags to be taken down from her own statehouse grounds after nine black churchgoers were gunned down at their Charleston Bible study by a 21-year-old who held racist beliefs.
"This flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state," Haley said at a news conference June 24, 2015.
The state legislature would have to approve such a move by a two-thirds vote. The state's two U.S. senators supported Haley's move.
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