Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rep. Mark Sanford Defend Confederate Flag (Video)

| by Michael Allen

The American and South Carolina flags were flown at half-staff at the state capitol in Columbia, South Carolina, this week out of respect for the nine African-American people who were killed in an attack on a church in Charleston.

The Confederate flag has stayed at full-staff, noted The Washington Post.

The flag came under scrutiny after a picture of the suspected church gunman, Dylann Storm Roof, posing in front of a car with a Confederate flag license plate surfaced on June 18.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is running for president in 2016, was asked by CNN today if the Confederate flag should be removed from the state house, noted Mediaite (video below).

Graham said the decision on whether or to keep it there could be revisited, but added:

"But this is part of who we are. The flag represents, to some people, a civil war, and that was the symbol of one side. To others, it’s a racist symbol, and it’s been used by people, it's been used in a racist way, but the problems we have in South Carolina, throughout the world are not because of a movie or symbols, but what's in people's hearts."

Graham had radically different reactions to Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in 2013, who he wanted to designate as a "potential enemy combatant," and Roof, who he dismissed as "just whacked out" on June 18 on "The View."

Republican Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina told MSNBC on June 18 that the Confederate flag flying at the state capitol was an imperfect compromise, but later added that "another population" in South Carolina sees the flag as "a symbol of heritage, it's a symbol of states' rights, it's a symbol of my great-great-grandfather died in some battle in Manassas or Bull Run or who knows where."

Sources: The Washington Post, Mediaite, MSNBC, CNN
Image Credit: CNN Screenshot, Grace Beahm/The Post and Courier