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Stacey Abrams' campaign defends her participation in 1992 Georgia flag burning

Democrats make history in Georgia
Stacey Abrams makes history in Georgia Democratic primary 01:35

Stacey Abrams, the Democrat running for governor in Georgia, participated in a protest in 1992 that included the burning of the state flag, her campaign confirmed on Tuesday. The "permitted, peaceful protest" was a part of her opposition to the Confederate symbolism in the flag, campaign spokeswoman Abigail Collazo told CBS News in a statement.

Abrams, who would be the first African-American female governor in the U.S., participated in a protest that included flag-burning at the steps of the Georgia Capitol while she was in college in Georgia, according to a report in the New York Times on Monday. Her involvement in the protest has been circulating social media, including a 1992 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article that had a photo of Abrams participating in the protest, the Times reported.

The disclosure comes as Abrams is scheduled to debate her Republican opponent, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, on Tuesday, two weeks before the Nov. 6 election.

"Stacey was involved with a permitted, peaceful protest against the confederate emblem in the flag" at a time that a "conversation was sweeping across Georgia" about changing the flag, Collazo said. The state, she said, "was at a crossroads" when Abrams was in college, and was ``struggling with how to overcome racially divisive issues, including symbols of the confederacy."

During the protest, in 1992, the state's flag contained the Confederate battle flag emblem. The Confederate battle flag emblem wasn't fully removed from the state's flag until 2003.

Abrams, 44, has talked about the issue of Confederate memorials as part of the governor's race and has called for the removal of the Confederate carving on Stone Mountain near Atlanta. Meanwhile, Kemp has said he would protect the monument, which depicts Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, from the "radical left."

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