John Rich Weighs in on Confederate Flag Debate
Governor Nikki Haley held a press conference on Monday (June 22) to call for the removal of the flag, saying in part, "This flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state," (quote via CNN).
The governor made her remarks in direct response to last week's mass murder that took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, which was reportedly racially motivated. Police have arrested 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof of Lexington, S.C., and he’s been charged with nine counts of murder for the crime, which left six women and three men dead.
One of those men was Senator Clementa Pinckney (D - S.C.), who was also a pastor at the church. Pictures of Roof holding the Confederate flag have subsequently turned up online, along with alleged racist manifestos that might have led up to the hate crime. The resulting furor has shone a new light on the old debate over whether the flag is part of a proud tradition of Southern heritage, or an anachronistic symbol of white dominance and slavery.
Rich came down squarely on the side of taking the flag down. "There's only one flag I care about, " he states — the American flag. "And I think that’s the end of the argument right there. I think we can go on ad nauseam about this forever. If something's bringing pain, or if something is bringing something that somebody uses for hate like that, I mean, I just don’t see the point of continuing to go forward with it."
Rich also came out in support of Governor Haley for calling to have the flag removed from the State House grounds. "I applaud that, and I think she’s right," he says.
Country Stars Who've Suffered Unthinkable Tragedies