South Carolina

USC’s Tanner, Staley weigh in on Confederate flag

University of South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley.
University of South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley.

South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner weighed in Monday with his take on the Confederate flag that flies on the State House grounds.

"It is time to remove the flag. We are ONE !! #CharlestonStrong #Gamecocks," Tanner said via Twitter.

Gov. Nikki Haley will hold news conference Monday afternoon amid growing speculation that South Carolina leaders are ready to call for removing the flag.

Debate about the flag, long a source of a controversy, intensified after nine parishioners at an African-American in Charleston were murdered Wednesday during an evening Bible study session.

USC women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley said via Twitter: "Leaders make the unpopular but right decisions. #StayTuned"

Former USC quarterback Connor Shaw tweeted: "Any flag that contradicts everything our Country flag represents, it shouldn’t fly. We ALL stand united."

USC president Harris Pastides on Monday also called for the flag to come down.

Coach Steve Spurrier asked for the flag to be removed back in 2007.

"It would make us a more progressive, better state, I think, if the flag was removed. But I’m not going to go on any big campaign to have it removed. That’s not my position," Spurrier said in 2007 in an interview with The State. "But if anyone were to ask me, that would certainly be my position."

A compromise was reached in 2000 to move the flag from atop the Capitol dome to a Confederate monument on the State House grounds.