Nikki Haley: 'I Could not Look My Kids in the Face and Justify That Flag'

For five years, Governor Nikki Haley dismissed calls to remove the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina statehouse lawn as a divisive issue far from her agenda.
In her 2010 campaign, the state’s first minority governor said the two-thirds legislative approval required to move the flag from its 30ft perch was too high a hurdle to allow for real debate.
None of that mattered, she said, after nine people were killed last month at a black church in Charleston, including its pastor, state senator Clementa Pinckney, in a crime she said was an act of “pure hate”. When Haley arrived at the church, she found strangers hugging and weeping, and the grief was overwhelming. She said in an emotional interview on Wednesday, “That flag needed to come down. I could not look my kids in the face and justify that flag anymore.”