South Carolina lawmakers took the initial steps last Tuesday toward removing the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds by agreeing to allow discussion of the matter during the legislative session.
The agreement came a day after Republican Gov. Nikki Haley reversed course and called for the divisive symbol to come down. The flag has flown in front of the state Capitol for 15 years after being moved from atop the Statehouse dome.
The NAACP praised Newsome for her actions and called on authorities to treat her with leniency.
“Prosecutors should treat Ms. Newsome with the same large-hearted measure of justice that inspired her actions. The NAACP stands with our youth and behind the multigenerational band of activists fighting the substance and symbols of bigotry, hatred and intolerance,” NAACP President Cornell William Brooks said in an emailed statement.
Some state lawmakers, however, worried that Newsome’s actions will hurt efforts to bring the flag down permanently.
“There are 2 ways the Confederate Flag can be removed forever. Citizens please engage legally or we lose!” state Sen. Marlon Kimpson of Charleston, a Democrat, said on his Twitter account.
And, in another tweet, Republican state Sen. Shane Massey of Edgefield said such actions” will make this discussion much more difficult.” Both lawmakers favor bringing down the flag.