Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) ordered the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state Capitol Wednesday morning, saying it was simply “the right thing to do.”
The flag is part of a confederate memorial at the Capitol in Montgomery. Two state workers came out Wednesday morning and “with no fanfare quickly and quietly took the flag down,” according to AL.com.
Bentley said his decision to remove the flag was, in part, a response to last week’s massacre of nine African-Americans in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Dylann Storm Roof, the accused shooter, was a racist who proudly displayed the Confederate flag. The incident has sparked renewed criticism of Confederate tributes across the South.
“Yes, partially this is about that,” said Bentley. “This is the right thing to do. We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with. This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down.”
A spokeswoman for the governor told The Huffington Post she was looking into whether the removal of the flag was permanent.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has called on her state’s legislature to remove the Confederate flag from state grounds. The move would require a two-thirds vote of approval from both chambers.