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South Carolina legislator: Take down Confederate flag

Posted at 7:52 PM, Jun 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-20 19:52:14-04
The South Carolina and American flags flying at half-staff behind the Confederate flag erected in front of the State Congress building in Columbia, South Carolina on June 19, 2015.  (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

The South Carolina and American flags flying at half-staff behind the Confederate flag erected in front of the State Congress building in Columbia, South Carolina on June 19, 2015. (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Republican state legislator says it’s past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina’s Statehouse grounds.

Rep. Doug Brannon of Landrum told The Associated Press on Saturday that the flag is “not just a symbol of hate, it’s actually a symbol of pride in one’s hatred.”

Brannon says he will introduce a bill in December to move the flag and pole to the state’s Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum. December is the first opportunity for bills to be pre-filed for the legislative session resuming in January.

Brannon’s been in the House for five years. He says he’s always thought the flag should be removed but didn’t have the nerve to propose doing so until Wednesday’s massacre at a black church in Charleston.

A rally calling for the flag’s removal is planned for later Saturday at the Statehouse.