Demonstrators in South Carolina gather to demand the immediate removal of the Confederate flag from State House grounds. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Hundreds turned out for a rally outside the South Carolina State House to demand the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds. Political leaders and members from civil rights organizations spoke at the rally as protesters chanted 'bring it down.' State lawmakers are working to introduce a resolution to begin a debate on removing the Confederate flag following the killings last week of nine African-American churchgoers allegedly by a white gunman. The battle flag of the pro-slavery Confederacy has become a lightning rod for the outrage that has gripped the state over the apparent racist motives behind the massacre. Federal authorities are investigating the attack as a hate crime by accused gunman Dylann Roof, 21, who posed with the flag in photos posted online. Opponents of flying the flag at the State House grounds consider it an emblem of slavery that has become a rallying symbol for racism and xenophobia in the United States. Supporters see it is a symbol of the South's history and culture, as well a memorial to the roughly 480,000 Confederate casualties during the 1861-65 Civil War. That figure includes the dead, wounded and prisoners. Republican South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said on Monday the time was right to take down the flag, which was put up at the State House a half century ago as resistance to federal efforts to end segregation in the South was at its peak. Haley called on lawmakers, whose normal legislative year wraps up this week, to address the issue over the summer and said she would order a special session if they did not.