Flag battle on Capitol Hill

Democratic lawmakers are upset that the Republicans delayed a bill that included a ban of the Confederate flag.

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    Many people associate the Confederate flag with slavery and racism [AP]
    Many people associate the Confederate flag with slavery and racism [AP]

    The Confederate battle flag debate is officially over in the South Carolina state capitol following a vote to take it down.

    But at the US Capitol, it’s just beginning.

    On Thursday, the recent spat over whether it’s appropriate to display the flag, flown by some units of the secessionist Confederacy during the 19th century American Civil War, on government property erupted with finger-pointing across the aisle.

    Democratic lawmakers in Congress were upset that the Republicans - who control both the House and the Senate - delayed a bill that included a ban of the flag at all US government parks and cemeteries.

    They were also upset that a separate measure to take down the Mississippi state flag from the US Capitol building was also set aside.

    That state flag still bears the Confederate battle symbol within it.

    “You lost the war,” said Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson in a reference to the flag’s supporters.

    "It’s time for you to join the rest of the country."

    A fellow state lawmaker disagrees.

    “Congress cannot simply re-write history and strip the Confederate flag from existence,” said Republican Congressman Steve Palazzo.

    The current battle started after nine African American members of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina were gunned down during a Bible study class on June 17.

    The white man accused of the murder was seen on social media with the flag, a symbol many people associate with slavery and racism.

    Currently, the National Park Service, which operates 14 national cemeteries, allows people to place the flags on gravestones during a state’s Confederate Memorial Day. But Democrats want to change that, arguing the flags have no place there.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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