Philadelphia

Activists Burn Confederate Flags at Independence Mall in Philadelphia

A group of activists set fire to two Confederate flags in Philadelphia, only steps from the Liberty Bell.

The activists gathered at Independence Mall Friday afternoon to voice their opposition to the flag.

The activists placed two Confederate flags inside a metal tub, doused them with lighter fluid and set them on fire.

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The burning of the flags was in response to the shooting of nine church-goers during Bible study at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, Wednesday night.

“That flag, to us, says terrorism. It’s a slap in the face to those folks that were murdered,” activist Mannwell Glenn told NBC10 outside Independence Mall.

The suspect in the mass shooting is Dylann Roof. The incident is being investigated a hate crime. Investigators say Roof was a devout white supremacist who wanted to start a race war. Roof had a Confederate flag on his front license plate of his car.

“In America, it’s the Confederacy and the Confederate flag. We have a problem with that, as much as maybe a Jewish person would have a problem with a Nazi flag,” Glenn said.

Roof is being held on $1 million bail.

At South Carolina’s state capitol, the United States flag and state flag were lowered in honor of the church shooting victims.

The Confederate flag, which flew atop the statehouse from 1962 until it was moed to a separate pole on the grounds at a Confederate war memorial in 2000, remained untouched.

State law requires lawmakers to approve changes to how the flag is flown and the General Assembly is out of session until January, NBC News reported.

Still, leaders are working to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol permanently.

“That symbol has to come down. That symbol must be removed from our state Capitol,” said Cornell Brooks, of the NAACP.

Opinions on the Confederate flag are divided among those who see it as a symbol of Southern pride or racism.

President Barack Obama weighed in on the controversy saying the flag belongs in a museum, not on top of a government building.

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney weighed in on the debate Saturday on Twitter

"Take down the #ConfederateFlag at the SC Capitol. To many, it is a symbol of racial hatred. Remove it now to honor #Charleston victims," he said.

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