NAACP: Confederate flag image should be removed from Texas building
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – The NAACP is calling on Gov. George W. Bush to remove an image of the Confederate flag from the Texas Supreme Court building.
NAACP President Kweisi Mfume said Bush should push for the removal because it’s the morally right thing to do – not because the civil rights group may organize a tourism boycott on Texas similar to one in South Carolina.
”I would hope the governor does not need the NAACP to appeal to him, but that his heart would appeal to him,” Mfume said. ”The intolerance the flag represents should not be condoned in any public building.”
Mfume spoke Friday at a regional conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Fort Worth.
Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas chapter of the NAACP, on Friday reissued his call for Bush to remove the Texas plaque, calling it ”a symbol of racism, division, and hatred.”
Bush, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, has said he is studying the request. When asked in South Carolina about that state’s flying of the Confederate flag from the state Capitol, Bush said voters should decide the issue.
A spokeswoman for Bush’s office did not return messages seeking comment Friday.
Since the NAACP called for an economic boycott of South Carolina in January, 92 organizations have withdrawn from regional and district meetings that were scheduled to be held there, Mfume said.
He said South Carolina will set the stage for how other states deal with the flag issue.
”If we are successful in South Carolina, more states will be inclined to do the same thing,” Mfume said.
The NAACP and others contend the flag stands for racism and slavery, while supporters say it honors their Southern heritage. South Carolina is the only state that flies the flag from its statehouse.
In Texas, the image of the Confederate flag is on a plaque in the entryway to the building that houses the state’s two top courts – the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals. The plaque also quotes Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Another plaque includes the seal of the Confederacy.