A Republican running for South Carolina governor says she’s “not backtracking” in her support for lawmakers’ efforts to remove the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds but said she is proud of the Confederacy.
Hours after speaking to a grassroots GOP gathering in the conservative Upstate, Catherine Templeton told The Associated Press on Tuesday night that she’s “proud of the Confederacy.”
But Templeton said she still stands by a 2015 document expressing support for a decision by then-Gov. Nikki Haley and state lawmakers to remove the flag after the massacre of nine black worshippers at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church.
“I supported Gov. Haley and our Legislature because a bad man took our symbol and turned it into hate,” Templeton said, referring to convicted church shooter Dylann Roof, who embraced the flag and is a self-avowed white supremacist. “But I am South Carolina born and raised, and I am proud of our history. We are standing on the shoulders of giants, and I don’t apologize for that.”
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