In light of last week’s horrific shooting at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Americans are changing their minds on whether it is appropriate for states to fly the Confederate battle flag.
Just yesterday, South Carolina’s Republican governor, Nikki Haley, joined by the state’s two Republican senators, called for the state legislature to pass new legislation to remove the flag from the grounds of the capitol.
Using data from a collection of national surveys over the past 25 years, Quartz has found that the Charleston shooting has accelerated the opinion of many Americans that states should not fly the flag of the Confederacy. The data draws on a Gallup poll from 2000, the last time the Confederate flag in South Carolina made national news.
At the time, the state was in the midst of a fierce debate over whether to move the flag from atop the capitol building to its current location, next to a civil war monument nearby. Gallup asked respondents whether they thought states should be allowed to fly the flag on their capitol buildings, and compared it to responses from 1992.
More recently, YouGov asked respondents whether they approve or disapprove of the Confederate flag flying in public places. Respondents were given a variety of options—from strongly agree, to strongly disagree, as well as “neither agree nor disagree,” and “not sure.” For the sake of simplicity and comparison, Quartz combined these responses into three categories.
On Monday, only days after the shooting, Public Policy Polling released a new survey, which showed Americans disapprove of flying the flag on government buildings by a wide margin of 64% to 20%.
Whether or not these opinions maintain over time, it increasingly looks like the Confederate flag’s days are numbered, at least on government grounds.