Spurrier: Remove Confederate Flag From S.C. Statehouse

AP, April 14, 2007

The Confederate flag shouldn’t fly at the Statehouse, South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier said Saturday after the Gamecocks’ annual spring game.

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“My opinion is we don’t need the Confederate flag at our Capitol,” Spurrier said Saturday. “I don’t really know anybody that wants it there, but I guess there are a lot of South Carolinians that do want it there.”

City Year board chairman Kerry Abel said Spurrier’s remarks at his group’s awards banquet Friday night caught everyone by surprise.

On a video of the banquet, Spurrier is seen saying the South Carolina-Tennessee game last year, which was featured on ESPN’s GameDay, was marred “by some clown was waving that dang, damn Confederate flag behind the TV set. And it was embarrassing to me and I know embarrassing to our state.”

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Jenna Micklash, who attended the event, said the ball coach’s comments came as he accepted a citizenship award from the group, which encourages young people to take on community improvement projects.

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The flag was removed from the dome in 2000, but placed at the Confederate Soldier Monument on Statehouse grounds. The state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said that was not good enough and continued its boycott. The initial boycott drew wide support from inside and outside the state, but encouragement for the ongoing effort has waned in recent years.

The NCAA has prohibited the state from holding predetermined championships like basketball regionals since 2001 because of the Confederate flag.

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