Nikki Haley claims otherwise innocuous Confederate flag was ‘hijacked’ by killer

Nikki Haley, then governor of South Carolina, signs into law a bill removing the Confederate flag flying at the state house in Columbia, on 9 July 2015. Photograph: Richard Ellis/EPA

The former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley faced a storm of criticism on Friday after she said the Confederate battle flag represented “service and sacrifice and heritage” before it was “hijacked” by Dylann Roof, the gunman who killed nine African American people in a Bible study class in Charleston in June 2015.

The Confederate soldiers who fought under the flag during the civil war of 1861-65 fought to preserve slavery and white supremacy. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the union over the issue, in December 1860, and the first shots of the war were fired in the state in April the following year.

The Guardian: