JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's been a major political issue in South Carolina for years, but after nine African-Americans were killed in Charleston by a gunman who authorities say embraced the Confederate Flag as a symbol of white supremacy, there are renewed calls for the flag to be removed from the state house grounds.
"Certainly symbolically, we cannot have the Confederate flag waving in the state Capitol,"Cornell Brooks, president of the NAACP Jacksonville chapter, said.
Those calling for the flag to be removed now includes South Carolina's governor.
"We respect freedom of expression. And for those who wish to show their respect for the flag, on their private property, no one will stand in your way. But the state house is different. And the events of this past week call upon us to look at this in a different way," South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said.
In February 2001, while Jeb Bush was governor, Florida moved the Confederate flag that was flying outside the Florida Capitol building to a museum. Monday evening, current Gov. Rick Scott said that was the right decision.
"We moved it. From my understanding Gov. Nikki Haley called for it to come down. She did the right thing. We did the right thing in Florida," Scott said.
Monday night Walmart said it will discontinue selling the flag. Officials in South Carolina hope it will make a difference for the future.
"For some in our state, the Confederate flag is a symbol of heritage. For far too many others, the Confederate flag is a symbol of division. We can't change South Carolina's past, but we can heal her future. That was the goal of today," Matt Moore, South Carolina Republican Party chairman said.