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Hundreds of people protest against the Confederate flag (C) during a protest rally in Columbia, South, Carolina on June 20, 2015. The racially divisive Confederate battle flag flew at full-mast despite others flying  at half-staff in South Carolina after the killing of nine black people in an historic African-American church in Charleston on June 17. Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white male suspected of carrying out the Emanuel African Episcopal Methodist Church bloodbath, was one of many southern Americans who identified with the 13-star saltire in red, white and blue.      AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV        (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Hundreds of people protest against the Confederate flag (C) during a protest rally in Columbia, South, Carolina on June 20, 2015. The racially divisive Confederate battle flag flew at full-mast despite others flying at half-staff in South Carolina after the killing of nine black people in an historic African-American church in Charleston on June 17. Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white male suspected of carrying out the Emanuel African Episcopal Methodist Church bloodbath, was one of many southern Americans who identified with the 13-star saltire in red, white and blue. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
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Breaking News: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley calls for the confederate flag to be removed

Ezinne Osuagwu

Leading South Carolina Republicans joined calls to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds today after a young white man who embraced the banner as a symbol of white power was charged with murdering nine people inside their historic black church.

Some black people are of the opinion that the confederate flag represents the negative aspects of the history of the civil war while some see it as a symbol of their cultural heritage. There have been calls in the past that the flag be removed, but with the new killings at Charleston, the pressure has mounted.

There were speculations as to whether the Governor, Nikki Haley, would join in the fight to remove the flag. In a press statement called about 15 minutes ago, the governor announced that they are calling for removal of the flag. She further emphasized that because the flag is also seen as a symbol of heritage, those who want to keep the flag flying in their homes could do so, but the one placed at the state house of South Carolina should be removed in honour of the Nine people who died in Charleston.