Following the brutal murder of nine people at a historic black church in South Carolina, many have wondered why the Confederate flag — a symbol of racial segregation — has continued to stand outside of the state Capitol building.
One of those people is Mitt Romney.
On Saturday, the former Republican presidential candidate called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the front of the South Carolina State House, in order to honor the nine black victims of Wednesday’s shooting. “To many, it is a symbol of racial hatred,” the former GOP presidential candidate tweeted on Saturday.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) June 20, 2015
The flag was clearly a symbol for Dylann Roof, the white 21-year-old who confessed to the murders on Friday. Roof, a South Carolina native who had been photographed wearing a jacket bearing flags representing two African countries where whites once ruled blacks, reportedly told friends he wanted to start a race war.
With his tweet on Saturday, Romney became one of few Republican figures to support taking down the flag. In contrast, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2016, is asserting the state’s right to keep the flag in front of its halls of power.