Obama praises removal of Confederate flag
© Getty Images

President Obama on Friday praised the lowering of the Confederate flag in South Carolina as “a meaningful step towards a better future.”

“South Carolina taking down the confederate flag - a signal of good will and healing, and a meaningful step towards a better future,” the president wrote on his @POTUS Twitter feed. 

The removal of the Confederate battle flag from Statehouse grounds in South Carolina was the culmination of a debate over the controversial symbol triggered by a mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston last month. 

The alleged shooter, Dylann Storm Roof, reportedly posted photos online of himself with Confederate flag memorabilia and claimed he wanted to start a race war. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Obama and political leaders in both parties have described the flag as a symbol of hate and called for it to taken off government grounds across the South. 

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) signed a bill Thursday authorizing the permanent removal of the flag from the state Capitol's grounds. 

During a eulogy for one of the shooting victims, Obama challenged those who defended the flag as a symbol of their Southern heritage. 

“For many, black and white, that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation,” he said. “We see that now.” 

Taking down the flag would not be an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers, Obama said, it “would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought, the cause of slavery, was wrong.”