NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston government and civil rights leaders came together Monday to call for the immediate removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State House.
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley and North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey were joined by State Sen. Marlon Kimpson, Rev. Joe Darby of the NAACP, and others in calling for action from state leaders during the 12 p.m. news conference at North Charleston City Hall.
"The time has come for the [Confederate] flag to be removed from the State House grounds," Riley said.
He went on to say the Confederate flag should be preserved in a museum, not at the State House.
According to Kimpson, there is "a growing chorus" of South Carolina senators who are interested in seeing legislation passed to remove the Confederate flag before the current session ends.
The group announced a rally will be held at the State House Tuesday at 11 a.m., asking the South Carolina General Assembly to remove the Confederate Battle Flag from the grounds of the capitol.
Other officials at Monday's news conference included Reverend Nelson B. Rivers III and Elder James Johnson of the National Action Network, State Representatives Wendell Gilliard and Leon Stavrinakis, and J. Elliott Summey of the Charleston County Council.
Reverend Rivers said the rally will be peaceful, but powerful.
The call comes in the wake of the shooting deaths of nine people worshiping at Emanuel AME church on Wednesday, June 17. "What better way to honor the nine victims than to show their families that something extremely positive came from their deaths," said Charleston City Council member Elliot Summey.
"Today, the governor will have a press conference. And I can stand here like these ladies and gentleman who have been a part of this movement in the state of South Carolina and had to endure a lot, I can stand here today and tell you, she is going to change her mind," Rep. Wendell said. "She is going to change her mind and that flag will come down.
"And when the flag comes down, then and only then it will be a great day in the state of South Carolina."