RALEIGH — State Rep. Garland Pierce on Friday applauded South Carolina lawmakers and Gov. Nikki Haley for removing the Confederate flag from the state Capitol grounds.
Pierce, D-Scotland, issued a statement on behalf of the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus, of which he serves as chairman.
Calling the Confederate battle flag “a visual backdrop of acceptance to the darkness” of slavery and segregation, Pierce pledged to work toward removing the flag from specialty license plates currently available in North Carolina.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans specialty plates are offered through the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles as one of more than 130 designs allowing drivers to show support for civic groups.
“Today marks a shift in the history of our nation forward,” Pierce said. “The confederate flag has been a longstanding symbol of racism and discrimination following the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We support Gov. Nikki Haley and the lawmakers of South Carolina who stood in support of the removal of the confederate flag from the state capitol of South Carolina this morning.
“It is no longer a visual backdrop of acceptance to the darkness that so easily swayed in the breeze of injustice and racial disparity for African Americans in the state of South Carolina and our nation.
“This act of respectful regard forward is in total alignment and support of the efforts of the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus to garner active legislative support from North Carolina lawmakers to swiftly move forward to also enact removal of the Confederate flag from the license plates in our great state.”
Pierce represents Richmond, Scotland, Hoke and Robeson counties in House District 48.
The N.C. Legislative Black Caucus consists of senators and representatives of African-American and Native American heritage. The group’s primary purpose is to operate as a vehicle through which African-Americans and people of color in North Carolina will be able to exercise their political power in a unified manner.