By Marc Morial
President & CEO, National Urban League
In just under three weeks, since the National Urban League launched the One Nation, One Flag campaign to eliminate Confederate symbols from public spaces and rally around the U.S. flag, the spirit of unity is sweeping across the nation.
During an historic and solemn ceremony this week, the Confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina capitol grounds for the first time in more than 50 years.
Throughout the south, the symbols of hatred and division are making way for a new sense of community and unity. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley was one of the first to act, ordering the Confederate flag removed from the grounds of the state Capitol almost immediately after the racially-motivated massacre of nine people at a Charleston., S.C., church. Just Tuesday, the Mobile Alabama City Council voted to remove the Confederate flag from the City Seal.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal all have indicated they would seek an end to license plates featuring the Confederate flag.
In my own home city of New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu has called for the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee, and I have proposed that Lee Circle be renamed â€œTricentennial Circleâ€ to commemorate the cityâ€™s 300th anniversary.
These moves may be symbolic, but they are an important sign that the country is moving toward greater understanding and sensitivity. We must continue our #OneNationOneFlag until we are united around the U.S. flag and refuse to let symbols of hatred divide us.