In its place, in the busy passageway between the Capitol and
adjacent office buildings, depictions of commemorative quarters
representing the 50 states, the U.S. territories and Washington,
D.C., will be installed, said Committee on House Administration
Chairwoman Candice Miller.
Michigan Republican Representative Miller said in a statement that
she decided to replace the display because of the controversy
surrounding the Confederate flag, which is widely seen today as a
symbol of racism and slavery.
"I am well aware of how many Americans negatively view the
Confederate flag, and, personally, I am very sympathetic to these
views," she said.
Lawmakers who choose to hang their home states' flags outside their
offices may still do so. "In this way all state flags are displayed
on Capitol Hill,” Miller said.
Only the Mississippi state flag still depicts the Confederate battle
flag, in the top left corner. Symbols from various Confederate flags
are evident in the flags of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Arkansas.
All these states were among those that seceded from the union in
1860-1861 and joined the pro-slavery Confederate States of America
that was defeated by the anti-slavery union in the American Civil
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Representative Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat who pushed
last year for his state’s flag to be removed from the Capitol,
praised Miller's announcement as a step toward removing all signs of
the “Confederate revolt against our own country.”
Criticism over public display of the Confederate flag intensified
last year after a white man who gunned down nine black churchgoers
in South Carolina was pictured on social media with it.
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin
Republican, told a weekly news conference that he supports the
decision to change the display. It is expected to be installed once
renovations of the tunnel are finished later this year.
(Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh)
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