Tags: SC Church Shooting | Doug Brannon | south carolina | confederate flag | church | shootings

SC State Lawmaker: The Confederate Flag 'Needs to Come Down'

SC State Lawmaker: The Confederate Flag 'Needs to Come Down'
(Mrallen/Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 22 June 2015 08:49 AM

South Carolina state Rep. Norman "Doug" Brannon, who is proposing legislation to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds in Columbia, said he is ashamed for not proposing the legislation sooner.

"All I can do is apologize," the Republican state lawmaker told CNN "New Day" host Chris Cuomo on Monday. He further said that it should not have take the murders of nine people at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church for the legislation to be presented.

"Obviously, the event, the death of my friend [State Sen. Clementa Pinckney] and his eight parishioners" led to the decision to introduce legislation, said Brannon, who represents a conservative district in his state. "It's tragic. [But] it shouldn't have taken that, and again, I apologize."

The racially motivated killings have sparked new arguments, including among the large crop of Republican presidential candidates, over whether the flag should remain flying at South Carolina's Statehouse. Some, like former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, say the flag should be taken down immediately, while others say that the decision on the flag should be made at the state level.

However, the flag can't be taken down without changes to South Carolina's law, because of the South Carolina Heritage Act,  passed in 2000, which also says streets, parks and public areas named for historic figures can't be renamed unless the state General Assembly agrees with a two-thirds vote.

The flag itself was moved from flying over the state Capitol to flying at the Statehouse grounds in a compromise with the 2000 law.

Brannon on Monday said that while there are people in his state who argue that the flag should remain because it is a reflection of their heritage, he believes "that's a form of denial."

"The flag needs to come down," he told Cuomo. "Any heritage argument, while it's going to be a strong argument, I'm ready for the debate. And I'm ready for the fight to bring the flag down."

The flag, said Brannon, "hangs on state ground, on land owned by the people of this state and, in my opinion, if even one South Carolinian finds it offensive, it should not be on state land. It should not be on land where progress is supposed to take place. With that symbol, we are backing up."

He said that he hopes that he is not a "distinct minority" in calling for the bill, and that "we can come up with the super-majority vote and do the right thing for the state of South Carolina."

But Brannon said he can understand why the issue has caused such division among Republican candidates.

"There's 49 other states they have to win," he said. " I understand that. I do not understand it from the position of an elected official in the state of South Carolina. This is our issue. It's now. The time to address it is now."

Brannon also said that while Republican Gov. Nikki Haley has called for a "conversation" on the issue, it's time for action, not talk. But he admitted he does not have a good answer over whether the flag should be an issue for GOP presidential race or debates.

"I'm an elected official in South Carolina," he said. "If I were running for president, I would like to tell you that I would have a position and I would take a position, but I can't answer for the 20 or 30 people who are running for president right now."

Watch the video here.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
South Carolina state Rep. Norman "Doug" Brannon, who is proposing legislation to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds in Columbia, said he is ashamed for not proposing the legislation sooner. "Of even one South Carolinian finds it offensive, it should not be on state land."
Doug Brannon, south carolina, confederate flag, church, shootings
584
2015-49-22
Monday, 22 June 2015 08:49 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved