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Charleston Shooting Ignites Debate over Confederate Flag at SC Capitol

The shooting in a historically black church in Charleston last night by a white gunman has ignited a social media debate over the Confederate flag flying at the state capitol. The gunman, according to information that’s come out today, had a Confederate flag on his ornamental license plate and wore a jacket with the flags of Rhodesia and South Africa in the days of apartheid.

All throughout the day, since last night, there have been lots of invocations of the flag at the state capitol to suggest the motives of the gunman aren’t exactly that unclear:

And there have been lots of calls today for the flag to be taken down:

Vox’s Zack Beauchamp also wrote that continuing to fly the flag is “an insult to Charleston’s victims.” For what it’s worth, this is what a spokesperson for Governor Nikki Haley said when asked about the flag at the state capitol:

Now, in a remarkable coincidence, today the Supreme Court issued a ruling on a case involving Confederate flag license plates. The Sons of Confederate Veterans submitted a plate design with that flag, but Texas rejected it. They fought all the way to the Supreme Court, arguing their free speech rights were being muzzled.

Well, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today (with Clarence Thomas siding with the liberal justices) to say license plates are “government speech,” not individual free speech, and therefore the government gets to regulate it.

[image via @BRios82]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac