S.C. state rep vows bill to remove Confederate flag

From Charleston, South Carolina, to the statehouse steps in Columbia, there is anger over the Confederate flag and all it represents. The mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston has reignited the debate over whether officials should remove the Confederate flag from state property.

Republican state Rep. Doug Brannon plans to introduce a bill to remove the flag, which he acknowledges will likely cost him re-election, reports CBS News' Adriana Diaz.

"The switch that flipped was the death of my friend Sen. [Clementa] Pinckney... I've been in the House five years. I should have filed that bill five years ago. But the time is now, I can't let my friend the senator's death go without fundamental change in South Carolina," Brannon said.

Brannon said he plans to introduce his bill as early as he can, which won't be until December.

Other politicians have said they will wait until after funerals can be held for the nine victims of last week's shooting before they weigh on whether the flag should be moved.

This isn't the first time the flag has sparked outrage. In 2000, protests led to a compromise: The flag was removed from the Capitol dome, but instead of placing it behind the building, legislators placed it near a Confederate memorial out front.

Now old wounds are being reopened.

Saturday night, a Confederate memorial in Charleston was spray painted with the words "black lives matter," and elsewhere people burned Confederate flags.

"It is a reminder, and more so an insult to the very soul of African Americans," said Dot Scott, president of the Charleston NAACP chapter.

To many like Scott, the flag is a symbol of intolerance and white supremacy.

"We should not have to continue to be forced to somehow revere the flag," Scott said.

But to others, the flag represents the sacrifices thousands of South Carolinians made -- regardless of color -- during the Civil War.

"We want to remember those men. They are family members, there are pictures on our walls, their names are in our Bibles. They're part of us, their DNA is in us," Randy Burbage of the Sons of Confederate Veterans said.

While Burbage said he feels for the families and relatives who died in the mass shooting at Charleston's Emanuel AME church, "the flag didn't have anything to do with why [shooting suspect Dylann Roof] did what he did."

The flag is now an issue in the Republican presidential race.

Former nominee Mitt Romney on Saturday Tweeted: "Take down the #ConfederateFlag at the SC Capitol. To many, it is a symbol of racial hatred."

Jeb Bush agreed, noting while governor of Florida he ordered the flag moved "to a museum where it belonged."

In the important primary state of South Carolina, others tried to avoid angering potential voters.

"My opinion is that we should let the people of South Carolina go through the process of making this decision," former Sen. Rick Santorum said on ABC's "This Week."

"It works here, that's what the statehouse agreed to do," Sen. Lindsey Graham said.