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Flying the Confederate flag; South Carolina: It should be removed from Statehouse dome as soon as possible.


LAWMAKERS in South Carolina face a simple choice.

They can banish the Confederate battle flag from state property. Or not -- and their state can continue to cope with an economic boycott, led by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Arizona Sen. John McCain's apology for not requesting the removal of the flag from the South Carolina Statehouse while campaigning in the state's GOP primary is belated -- but welcome. It underscores the sentiment around the nation that the Confederate flag -- a symbol of "racism and slavery," in Mr. McCain's words -- shouldn't occupy a place of honor on state property.

Major South Carolina business leaders have urged the flag's removal, fearing further setbacks in the state's ability to attract businesses and tourists.

The South Carolina Senate has worked out a compromise that would remove the flag from the two legislative chambers and the Statehouse dome, where -- ironically -- it has flown only since 1962.

Yes, 1962.

So much for claims that it speaks to pride in long-ago battles. The flag, in fact, began flying from the dome at the dawn of the civil rights movement, signaling state officials' bigoted opposition.

Instead of flying atop the Statehouse, under the Senate compromise, a smaller flag would adorn a Confederate memorial.

That's inadequate.

The Confederate flag has no place on state property.

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