State Watch

Haley: Dylann Roof ‘hijacked’ Confederate flag

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Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) says that Dylann Roof, who shot and killed nine black Americans in a Charleston church in 2015, “hijacked” the meaning of the Confederate flag.

“Here is this guy that comes out with his manifesto, holding the Confederate flag, and had just hijacked everything that people thought of,” Haley said on “The Glenn Beck Podcast” Thursday.

“People saw it as service and sacrifice and heritage, but once he did that, there was no way to overcome it,” she added.

Haley’s comments stand in contrast to what she said regarding the Confederate flag in the aftermath of the shooting, when she supported its removal from the South Carolina Statehouse.

“I think the more important part is it should have never been there,” Haley, who was governor at the time, told CNN in 2015.

“These grounds are a place that everybody should feel a part of,” she continued. “What I realized now more than ever is people were driving by and felt hurt and pain. No one should feel pain.”

Haley added that “there is a place for that flag,” but that place is “not in a place that represents all people in South Carolina.”

Confederate imagery and remembrances have been increasingly contested in recent years, particularly in the wake of Roof’s mass shooting and the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Roof, who said he was trying to start a race war, posed with multiple symbols of white supremacy in addition to the Confederate flag before carrying out his shooting. He was sentenced to death in January 2017.

Updated at 10:36 p.m.

Tags Charleston church shooting Confederate flag Dylann Roof Nikki Haley South Carolina

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