A Republican lawmaker in South Carolina is introducing a bill to remove the Confederate flag from the state house grounds in Columbia, S.C. As we wrote over the weekend, the bill faces a steep climb, because it requires two-thirds majorities to pass, according to a 2000 compromise reached to pull the flag from the top of the state capitol and move it to where it is today.
Also making it difficult: A strong majority of South Carolinians have said it should stay.
A 2014 Winthrop University poll found 61 percent of the state's residents said it should continue to fly on the state house grounds, where it currently is at a Confederate war memorial. Forty-two percent felt that way strongly.
One-third (33 percent), meanwhile, said it should be taken down, with 26 percent feeling strongly about it.
As you can imagine, there was a significant racial gap. While 73 percent of whites said it should stay, 61 percent of African Americans said it should go. (Interestingly, though, 27 percent of black South Carolinians said it should stay -- evidence that this issue isn't clear cut on either side.)
If there's one reason for hope for the anti-Confederate flag movement, though, it's that even many South Carolinians who say the flag should stay don't have strong personal feelings about it. Just 30.5 percent of South Carolinians described their feelings toward the flag as positive; 45 percent had negative feelings about it.
And yet, plenty of people who don't had a positive feelings about it and even some who had negative ones said the flag should stay.
It seems there's a reason that South Carolina was the last state to remove the flag from its capitol dome.