Jim Davenport, AP, Jan. 15, 2007
U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden said Monday he would vote to keep the Confederate flag off South Carolina’s Statehouse grounds, a location that prompted the NAACP’s ongoing boycott of the state.
“If I were a state legislator, I’d vote for it to move off the grounds — out of the state,” the Delaware senator said before the civil rights group held a march and rally at the Statehouse here.
More than six years after the Confederate flag was taken down from the Capitol dome, its location in front of the Statehouse remains an issue at the heart of Monday events celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.
Some carried signs saying: “South Carolina does not want Chris Dodd,” referring to the Connecticut senator who, along with Biden, attended the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People rally at the Statehouse.
In 2000, as the NAACP began its South Carolina tourism boycott, the flag was flying on the Capitol dome and in House and Senate chambers. Legislators agreed to take the flag down that year, but raised the banner outside the Statehouse beside a Confederate soldiers monument.
Biden expects legislators here will eventually move the flag. Pointing to his heart, he said, “as people become more and more aware of what it means to African-Americans here, this is only a matter of time.”