The Confederate battle flag was unceremoniously removed from the Alabama state Capitol grounds Wednesday morning following an order from Gov. Robert Bentley (R).
In stark contrast to the commotion in South Carolina, there was no press conference or fanfare in Montgomery — home of the 1955 bus boycott that launched a civil rights revolution — before two workers took down the controversial flag that had been flying over a Confederate memorial near the Statehouse.
Asked about the move, Bentley told Al.com he ordered the flag’s removal “partially” because of Charleston. “This is the right thing to do,” Bentley said.
“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.”
As the debate over the Confederate flag rages on in South Carolina, where lawmakers are reportedly considering temporarily removing it ahead of a formal vote expected next month, Alabama neighbor Mississippi is also mulling a significant change to its state flag, which features the Confederate rebel jack in its canton.