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The GOP and the Confederate Flag

The GOP’s uneasy relationship with the Confederate flag

South Carolina state Rep. Norman Brannon (R) said Friday night he’ll introduce a bill to remove the flag from capitol grounds. But Republican politicians like Romney and Brannon have also faced pushback when they’ve sided with getting rid of the flag. “That’s opening up Pandora’s box,” Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), a former governor of the state, said when asked on MSNBC if it should be taken down. “If you touch it, you usually die politically,” Scott Buchanan, a political science professor at The Citadel in South Carolina, told The State newspaper in 2014.

The Confederate flag, of course, first experienced its resurgence in the then-heavily Democratic South. Today, though, Democrats are much more likely to oppose it, making it a pretty easy call for Democratic politicians. But for the least two decades, it’s an issue which has divided and tripped up many Republicans.

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