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500,000 Sign Petition to Take Down Confederate Flag

MoveOn.org Petition continues to grow rapidly on the heels of large rallies in South Carolina over the weekend; petition calls on South Carolina officials to “remove the Confederate flag from all government places” and denounces the flag as a symbol of racism, hatred, and division.

** View the petition here: www.moveon.org/confederateflag **

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA More than half a million people have now signed the MoveOn.org petition calling on South Carolina officials to take down the Confederate flag flying over the state’s capitol grounds in the aftermath of the racially motivated terrorist attack at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The petition is the second fastest to reach 500,000 signatures in MoveOn Petitions’ history.

The movement to take down the flag is gaining traction nationwide, with dozens of national figures from President Obama to Mitt Romney to Hillary Clinton to Jeb Bush joining the call. Cornell William Brooks, the president and CEO of the NAACP, said the flag “has to come down” in a recent speech in Charleston.  A new Public Policy Polling poll shows that just 1 in 5 of Americans support flying the Confederate flag over government buildings. And on Sunday, #TakeDownTheFlag was trending nationally on Twitter.

Over the weekend, more than a thousand people gathered outside the South Carolina state capitol to call on Gov. Nikki Haley and other elected officials to stop flying the hateful flag.

“The Confederate flag is America’s most potent symbol of white supremacy,” said MoveOn.org Civic Action Executive Director Anna Galland. “Every day it is flown by the South Carolina government, it sends the message to racists and extremists that they are welcome in the state. That is why so many people in South Carolina and across the country are crying out to take down the flag.”

MoveOn member Karen Hunter started the petition, which is addressed to Gov. Haley as well as the South Carolina State House and State Senate. The petition reads: “Symbols of hate have no place in our government. The Confederate flag is not a symbol of southern pride but rather a symbol of rebellion and racism. On the heels of the brutal killing of nine Black people in a South Carolina church by a racist terrorist, it’s time to put that symbol of rebellion and racism behind us and move toward healing and a better United States of America!”

“When I woke up on Thursday morning and heard of the church shooting in South Carolina I was overwhelmed with emotion. I knew I needed to do something to help,” said Hunter, who also hosts Sirius XM’s “The Karen Hunter Show.” “When I thought of the fact that the Confederate flag—a symbol of racism—was still flying over the capitol of South Carolina, taunting the victims of this terrible crime and of every Black person it flew over I knew I needed to take action. That’s why I started a MoveOn Petition demanding that South Carolina stand up for what’s right and take down the Confederate flag. Now more than 500,000 people have signed that petition and have shown that we reject this symbol of hate. It is time for South Carolina’s government to do the same.”