Nikki Haley Claims She ‘Didn’t Take Sides’ in South Carolina Debate Over Removing Confederate Flag

Credits: NY1

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley stated on Monday that during the 2015 debate over lowering a Confederate flag on the South Carolina Statehouse’s grounds, following the Mother Emanuel shooting, she “didn’t judge either side.”

Speaking at an event in the central part of the state, Haley emphasized her role as governor at the time, calling for the Confederate flag’s removal after a racially motivated mass shooting left nine people dead at a historically Black church.

Haley expressed her leadership approach, stating that she didn’t aim to pick sides but rather sought to bring out the best in people to facilitate collective decision-making. The debate over the Confederate flag’s presence was sparked by discussions on whether it symbolized the state’s oppressive past.

Nikki Haley (Credits: The New York Times)

In 2015, Haley refrained from declaring a winner or loser in the debate, emphasizing the need for unity and acknowledging different perspectives on the flag’s meaning.

She argued that South Carolinians viewed the flag either as “a symbol of slavery, discrimination, and hate” or as representing “traditions of history, heritage, and ancestry.”

In a 2019 op-ed, Haley further contended that the flag’s meaning had been “hijacked” by the shooter in the Charleston church attack, asserting that it had previously symbolized “service and sacrifice and heritage.”

The ongoing discussions around the Confederate flag reflect broader conversations on historical symbols, racism, and the complexities of heritage and identity in American society.

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