Comedian John Oliver says it’s time to take down the Confederate flag.
The Last Week Tonight host said on his HBO show Sunday that lawmakers should vote to remove the flag not just out of respect for the events of the past week but “for the events of the last several centuries.”
The Confederate flag flies at the South Carolina State House even after the Wednesday night massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where a white supremacist is charged with shooting and killing nine African Americans in a prayer group.
“Lower the flag down to half staff, and then when it’s at half staff, why not keep lowering it all the way down? And once you’re holding it in your hands, take it off the flag pole completely, fold it, or don’t bother, put it in a box, label it ‘bag flag’ and put it somewhere no one can see it,” Oliver said.
South Carolina’s leading federal lawmakers and 2016 GOP hopefuls are split over what to do about the Confederate flag: Some see it as a racist symbol with a painful history while others see it as a piece of the region’s heritage.