Today, after flying for half a century at South Carolina’s state house, a symbol of hatred and racism finally descended a flagpole and was removed forever.
South Carolina’s Republican governor was on hand to watch the Confederate flag come down, just a day after signing legislation ordering the move. Explaining her decision to sign the bill, Governor Nikki Haley said that “no one should drive by the statehouse and feel pain. No one should drive by the statehouse and feel like they don’t belong.”
And yet in Georgia, people don’t have to drive by the state house to feel that pain. They can just look out their windshield on any well-travelled road in the state.
That’s because Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has refused to take real action on Georgia’s Confederate Flag license plates. While he has called for a redesign (only under pressure), Deal has released few details and promised to work with Sons of Confederate Veterans on any changes. He has also been careful to make a distinction between the Confederate flag on license plates and flags being flown on government land. Both are government property.
Symbols of hate sanctioned by the government are wrong no matter where they are. Gov. Deal should learn a lesson from his counterpart in South Carolina on how to deal with them.