Nikki Haley

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, middle, is applauded during a news conference in the South Carolina State House, Monday, June 22, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Haley said that the Confederate flag should come down from the grounds of the state capitol, reversing her position on the divisive symbol amid growing calls for it to be removed. (Tim Dominick/The State via AP)

BALTIMORE, MD – On Monday, June 22nd, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the Confederate battle flag to be taken down from out in front of the state Capitol. The General Assembly’s session ended on June 4, but lawmakers are meeting Tuesday to pass a budget compromise, at which point they can vote on extending the session to debate the removal of the Confederate flag. A decision to continue the session would take two-thirds of the vote, as would passing legislation to take down the flag. If they don’t, Haley said she would use her authority to call them back into session to debate on the flag. Subsequently, the NAACP has issued the following statement.

From Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO:

NAACP President Cornell William Brooks. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

“For 15 years, the national NAACP alongside our South Carolina State Conference have advocated for the Confederate battle flag’s removal. As we continue to mourn the lives of nine African American men and women killed senselessly in a church massacre at the hands of a White supremacist, the NAACP expects nothing less than a unanimous vote by the South Carolina state legislature to remove the flag immediately. Simply calling for the flag’s removal is not enough. While a toothless vote is legislatively necessary, we believe that a unanimous vote is morally required. For 15 years, the NAACP has led a statewide boycott aimed at bringing economic pressure on the state to bring the flag down, even recruiting the NCAA and UAW. The legislative body of South Carolina now has the opportunity to bring forth a new era of unity on the heels of tragedy. Removing the Confederate flag in this moment is not only ethically right but unequivocally American. The Southern region of our country is known for its hospitality. Nothing is more hospitable than creating an environment of inclusion for people of all races, colors, creeds and faiths. If South Carolina refuses to take down the flag, the NAACP will only intensify its economic, political and moral pressure on the state to remove the same emblem of exclusion that the church shooter used as motivation for his crime.”