Debate over Confederate flag heats up in Republican presidential race – Los Angeles Times

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush and the GOP’s previous nominee, Mitt Romney, both called Saturday for the Confederate battle flag to be removed from the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse, pushing debate over the divisive symbol to the forefront of the Republican primary.

The killing of nine people in a historic African American church in Charleston on Wednesday rekindled the longstanding disgust many feel about the flag being officially flown on state property. South Carolina’s Republican primary comes early in the election cycle and the Confederate flag has been an issue in previous primaries.

Romney, the party’s 2012 nominee for president, wrote on Twitter that many see the Confederate flag as a “symbol of racial hatred” and called for its immediate removal. “Remove it now to honor #Charleston victims,” Romney wrote.

Jeb Bush was more measured, noting in a Facebook post that in his home state of Florida, the Confederate flag was moved from state grounds “to a museum where it belonged.” Bush appeared to favor the same approach for South Carolina.


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