NATION NATION

Here's what has happened with the Confederate flag since South Carolina took its down

South Carolina took down the Confederate battle flag at its Statehouse on Friday, weeks after a gunman killed nine African Americans at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., but the uproar over Confederate symbols and names is far from over.

Here's a sampling of the developments that have taken place since Friday:

Tom Petty apologizes for using the flag

Tom Petty at his Los Angeles-area home in 2013. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Petty told Rolling Stone that he was sorry for using the Confederate battle flag in promoting his 1985 album "Southern Accents" and as a gimmick onstage for the song "Rebels."

Growing up in Florida had desensitized him to the flag, but then he saw people wearing the flag at his concerts, he told the magazine. When a bandana with a Confederate flag pattern was thrown at him onstage, he said, he halted the concert and asked people to stop wearing the symbol.

"I still feel bad about it," Petty said of using the flag. "I've just always regretted it. I would never do anything to hurt someone."

Take carving off Stone Mountain, Atlanta's NAACP urges

The Confederate Memorial Carving on Stone Mountain in Georgia. (John Bazemore / Associated Press)

The famous outdoor relief sculpture depicting Confederate leaders on Stone Mountain in Georgia has come under attack from the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP. The chapter's leader is calling for the removal of the Confederate Memorial Carving that depicts Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

Richard Rose, president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, is urging the elimination of the Confederate carving, calling it a "glorification of white supremacy."

The Stone Mountain Memorial Assn., which manages the state-owned Stone Mountain Park where the carving is located, says on its website that it receives no tax dollars and is self-supporting.

The Confederate Memorial Carving is believed to be the highest relief sculpture in the world, 400 feet off the ground on the side of Stone Mountain. A popular tourist attraction, the massive carving was completed in 1972. (Read the full story.)

Florida county to take down flag installation

Hillsborough County commissioners unanimously voted Wednesday to take down a historical flag installation after constituents pointed out the display included a Confederate battle flag.

Most of the commissioners had never noticed the installation over the security desk in the county center, which included all flags that had ever flown over Hillsborough County, said Liana Lopez, the county's chief communication administrator. Constituents pointed it out, and the commissioners decided to do away with it.

The flags, which include a Spanish flag and an early U.S. flag, are to be taken down Wednesday evening and donated to the Tampa Bay Historical Center. The installation went up in 1994.

A call to remove the flag from Alabama police uniforms

The Alabama state seal, displayed in the state Capitol, includes the Confederate battle flag. (Martin Swant / Associated Press)

The Rev. Robert Shanklin of the Huntsville NAACP wants the Confederate battle flag stripped off Alabama State Police insignia. The flag is one-quarter of the Alabama coat of arms, which appears on squad cars, uniforms and badges.

Shanklin's campaign is a grass-roots one, not even yet endorsed by the state NAACP, which is still gathering information to form an official policy, Alabama NAACP President Benard Simelton said.

Shanklin said he would like to see a "clean sweep" of the Confederate flag from Alabama public spaces, and has people calling him to identify places it is flown. "I look at it as being a pretty long haul right now," he said.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's only comment was to point out that it is the state seal, introduced in 1939, that is on troopers' uniforms.

In a Florida city, the council leaves the rules alone

Melbourne City Councilwoman Teresa Lopez was upset to discover that the city-co-sponsored Fourth of July parade allowed a float from the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which displayed the Confederate battle flag.

She asked the council to ban city officials from co-sponsoring or attending any event that flies the flag. Her motion was not seconded. The council then voted against asking the city attorney to review ordinances for public parades co-sponsored by the city.

Civil rights group pressures Kid Rock

Kid Rock on tour in May. (Brad Barket / Associated Press)

Kid Rock hasn't used the Confederate battle flag in his concerts in at least five years. Now the Detroit office of the National Action Network is asking him to take a stand and publicly repudiate the symbol.

The Rev. Charles Williams II, president of the Detroit National Action Network and pastor to the King Solomon Baptist Church, also asked General Motors to stop sponsoring Kid Rock's concerts until he does.

"If you are holding this flag dearly, you are holding this flag with a racial undertone," he said.

GM officials are scheduled to meet with Williams on Thursday morning, but the company will continue sponsoring Kid Rock's summer tour, GM spokesman Pat Morrissey said.

Kid Rock, born Robert Ritchie, is refusing to comment, his manager Nick Stern said.

The rocker, who lives in suburban Detroit, won a Detroit NAACP Great Expectations Award in 2011. "I've never flown that flag with any hate in my heart," he told a crowd attending the organization's fundraising dinner that year, according to the Associated Press. "Not one ounce."

Al Sharpton targets Robert E. Lee street name

The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks this week, with relatives of Eric Garner behind him. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Sharpton and his National Action Network is to hold a rally on Saturday in Brooklyn, N.Y., that includes a call for the renaming of Robert E. Lee Avenue at nearby Ft. Hamilton.

The rally is also to demand federal investigations into the deaths of Eric Garner, who died last July after police put him in what some have called a chokehold, and of Ramarley Graham, killed three years ago in a police shooting.

Times staff writer David Ng contributed to this report.

READ MORE

South Carolina's Confederate flag is down, but the debate over the Civil War's meaning goes on

There's more to battling racism than removing Confederate names and symbols

What you should know about the Confederate flag's evolution

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
56°