In the year 2000, the state legislature of South Carolina effected a compromise. At least, they called it a compromise—in reality, it was not. They took [the flag] down from the capitol dome and put it right smack on the state capitol grounds. So, it was even more visible after 2000 than before. And this brought the NAACP of South Carolina to call for a boycott of the state, and in fact many organizations refuse to hold their annual conventions in South Carolina.
It’s remained a contentious issue for the past 15 years because if you’re African American, and you walk by that flag, it’s a government endorsement of slavery [and] white supremacy. For African Americans, that’s what the flag stood for and that’s what the flag stands for. And the history of the flag certainly undergirds that interpretation.