A university in downtown Charleston added its name on Wednesday to a growing chorus of those asking for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina’s State House grounds in Columbia following last week’s massacre at a historic black church.
In a resolution posted to the College of Charleston’s website, the university’s Board of Trustees expressed its support for “the efforts of the state’s many political, civic, and business leaders in urging for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina State House grounds.” The announcement came one week after authorities say a white gunman shot nine people dead at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston during a Bible study group, including longtime librarian Cynthia Graham Hurd.
The push to remove the Confederate flag from State House grounds gained steam after the emergence of images that showed the suspect, Dylann Roof, posing with the flag. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley asked lawmakers this week to look into removing it from Capitol grounds, and a number of small and large retailers around the country have begun pulling the flag and related merchandise from their in-store and online offerings.
The Board’s Chairman, Greg Padgett, said in a news statement that the resolution was a part of an effort to consider how the Board of Trustees and the College of Charleston “can continue to be a part of the healing process of our city, our region and our state in the aftermath of these nine murders.”
“The College of Charleston is woven into the very fabric of the city of Charleston and our histories are so closely intertwined,” he added. “We, as the governing body of this institution, must join with others in the state and from around the country in supporting the efforts to remove the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina State House grounds.”
College of Charleston President Glenn McConnell, who has supported public display of the flag in the past, had not yet to commented on the Board’s announcement as of early Wednesday evening, but a spokesman told the Post and Courier that he may do so after the victims’ funerals.