Jeb Bush: 'Problem with the Confederate flag isn't the Confederacy'
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Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) says that the Confederate flag is a divisive symbol because of its history since the Civil War.

“The problem with the Confederate flag isn’t the Confederacy,” he said in Berlin, N.H., event on Tuesday, first reported by Talking Points Memo.


“The problem with the Confederate flag is what it began to represent later,” Bush continued. "That’s what we have to avoid to heal those wounds.

“The Confederacy is part of our heritage [and] it should be respected like other parts,” the 2016 GOP presidential candidate added. "But it doesn’t have to define who we are either.

Bush made his comments after a question from an audience member about efforts to bar the display of Confederate symbols. Critics see the flag as racist.

“Anybody killing any other entity for one basis or another is horrific, but does that necessarily require removing all these Confederate fixtures that at one point were granted to American veterans?” the audience member asked

“I think there’s a way to find balance,” Bush responded, defending his decision to take down the flag as Florida governor.

“I moved all seven Confederate flags over Florida off state premises and into a museum,” he said. "We avoided the political fight associated with other states, as I did it unilaterally.

“[The flag is] part of our heritage but would not be a visible sign of what Florida is about. It didn’t change history and it’s now in the Florida history museum,” Bush continued.

Bush was challenged by the audience member, who questioned whether Confederate symbols are racist.

“I don’t really think it shows any racism,” the man said.

“I’m not sure if you were a civil rights worker in the 1960s trying to fight for civil rights for African-Americans that they would agree with you,” Bush countered. “It isn’t the 19th Century issue, this is the 20th issue. But that’s just my opinion. We’re getting into some dicey subjects here.”

A mass shooting in Charleston, S.C., earlier this summer sparked a national debate over the Confederate flag.

Dylann Storm Roof, who has been charged in the shooting, took photos with the controversial symbol.