Appearing Friday on right-wing political commentator Glenn Beck’s radio show, Haley asserted that the Confederate flag was viewed by people in South Carolina - of which Haley was governor from 2011 to 2017 - as a symbol of “service and sacrifice and heritage” up until it was “hijacked” by Roof, a white supremacist who has been sentenced to death for the June 2015 mass murder of nine black worshippers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Nikki Haley says the Confederate flag was about "service, and sacrifice, and heritage" until Dylan Roof "hijacked" it pic.twitter.com/pqdhKIezRl— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) December 6, 2019
"Here is this guy that comes out with his manifesto, holding the Confederate flag, and had just hijacked everything that people thought of," Haley said on Beck’s show. Within Roof’s manifesto, the then-21-year-old was pictured holding a Confederate flag in multiple photos and was also shown holding a burning American flag.
That's also the flag that she's talking about— KorGhee (@KorGhee) December 6, 2019
Seen here with Dylan Roof, who later murdered nine black church goers. pic.twitter.com/YKGyyTOOLs
Haley, who some have predicted will be a 2024 presidential candidate for the Republican Party - or even US President Donald Trump’s running mate over Vice President Mike Pence in the upcoming election - did not receive a glowing response from Twitter and quickly became a trending topic.
Sure the Confederate flag is a symbol of slavery, racism and hatred, but it’s also a symbol of getting your ass kicked.— God (@TheTweetOfGod) December 6, 2019
Nikki Haley: "The confederate flag is about heritage."— Kragar (@Kragar_LGF) December 6, 2019
William T. Thompson, creator of the confederate flag: "we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race."
"A student holds a Confederate flag in front of Little Rock Central High School, which had been scheduled to integrate, in September 1957." There's a special place in hell for her. pic.twitter.com/2EtLiQl6ic— The Left (@n0rbizness) December 6, 2019
Ah yes, until Dylan Roof hijacked it. pic.twitter.com/0jSwsWnN8z— Jared Olguin (@RhymesWithBeans) December 6, 2019
No one would be shocked by Nikki Haley's comments in 2019 if there hadn't been so much effort since 2015 to engage in revisionist history & erase the role civil disobedience played in the Confederate flag coming down in SC. She never led on issues of racism, quite the opposite.— Bree Newsome Bass (@BreeNewsome) December 6, 2019
Nikki Haley says the Confederate flag was always about, "service, sacrifice, and heritage."— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) December 6, 2019
She says there was, "never any hateful people in South Carolina," before Dylan Roof.
Here are some images from a CONFEDERATE FLAG rally in South Carolina in 2015: pic.twitter.com/wg9ejegvVw
Remember that brief period of time when Nikki Haley was considered the adult in the Trump Administration? Welp, she just failed 8th grade social studies with this take.— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) December 6, 2019
Unless there is another Dylan Roof who was a confederate general or a KKK grand wizard in 1915. https://t.co/TNJPIWJaWa
Does Nikki Haley have no idea ~why~ Dylan Roof may have felt an affinity for the Confederate flag?— Daniel “latkes & eggnog” Summers (@WFKARS) December 6, 2019
Haley seemingly attempted to clean up her statement through a Friday tweet linking to a New York Times article which included a transcript of her proposal to have the Confederate flag removed from the grounds of the South Carolina capitol in 2015, when she was the state’s governor.
“2015 was a painful time for our state.The pain was and is still real. Below was my call for the removal of the Confederate flag & I stand by it. I continue to be proud of the people of SC and how we turned the hate of a killer into the love for each other,” she said on December 6.