Doug Stanglin and Tyler Pager, USA TODAY
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USA Today) — Demonstrators preparing to gather at the South Carolina Capitol on Saturday to protest the flying of a Confederate flag on Statehouse grounds received some unexpected support from two prominent Republicans, Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney.
For some South Carolina residents, the Confederate flag hanging outside the Statehouse represents their heritage. For others, it is a sobering reminder of the state’s dark history — marred by white supremacy and slavery.
The debate over the flag has flared anew following the killing of nine people at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church earlier this week. Dylann Roof, 21, who sported white supremacist patches on a jacket and had a Confederate flag license tag on the front of his car, was charged with murder for the Wednesday attack.
Bush, the former governor of Florida and a contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, said his position on the flag is clear.