Rand Paul: Confederate Flag ‘a Symbol of Human Bondage and Slavery’

Jonathan Easley, The Hill, June 23, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday called the Confederate flag a “symbol of human bondage and slavery” and lauded South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) for pushing its removal from her state Capitol grounds.

“I agree [with Haley],” Paul, a 2016 contender, said on WKRO radio’s “The Kuhner Report” in an interview flagged by Buzzfeed.

“I think the flag is inescapably a symbol of human bondage and slavery, and particularly when people use it obviously for murder and to justify hate so vicious that you would kill somebody, I think that that symbolism needs to end and I think South Carolina is doing the right thing,” he said.

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Many of the Republican presidential hopefuls initially declined to take a position on whether the flag should be removed or argued that the decision should be left to legislators in South Carolina.

But now that Haley has taken the lead to rid the South Carolina state Capitol of the flag, Republican presidential hopefuls are emerging to support her move.

“Obviously it’s a decision for South Carolina to make, but if I was in South Carolina, that’s what I would recommend to anyone who asked me my opinion,” Paul said Tuesday.

“There have been people who have used it for Southern pride and heritage and all of that,” he continued. “But really to–I think to every African-American in the country–it’s a symbolism of slavery to them and now it’s a symbol of murder for this young man and so I think it’s time to put it in a museum.”

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