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Majority of Americans support Confederate flag removal, poll says

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s decision to remove the Confederate flag from its State House grounds meets with the approval of 57 percent of Americans, but 34 percent believe it was the wrong move, a survey by the Pew research Center revealed.

Eighty-nine percent of the adults surveyed knew of the debate and 64 percent of those said they had heard a lot about it, the report said.

The flag debate was reignited when a white man accused of fatally shooting nine black people at a church appeared in photos holding the banner. Dylann Roof is charged in the killing of the parishioners at a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on June 17.

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The telephone poll of 2,002 people was conducted the week after the July 10 ceremony when an honor guard lowered the battle flag and it was delivered to a museum in Columbia. It cited a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

The study found 76 percent of blacks, 56 percent of whites, and 52 percent of Hispanics supported the removal.

However, the survey discovered some deep partisan divides: Among Republicans, 43 percent said it was the right decision and 49 percent said it wasn’t. Among independents, 53 percent backed the decision while 37 percent remain opposed. However, 74 percent of Democrats favored the move.

Associated Press