(AlHipHop News) South Carolina governor Nikki Haley announced yesterday (June 22) she is calling for her state to remove the Confederate battle flag from in front of the State House building in Columbia. Debate over the controversial symbol became national news after the racially motivated killing of 9 church goers in Charleston.
Leading political figures such as President Barack Obama and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney joined the chorus of critics insisting it is time for the flag to be taken down. Virginia native Trey Songz sat down with Hot 97's Ebro In The Morning radio show, and the "Slow Motion" singer was asked about the Confederate battle flag.
"I think we all know it's still indicative of racism, a seed that's been planted. People use the excuse that it's America - freedom of speech. But being from Virginia, I dealt with racism at an early age," said Songz. "It's just proof we gotta grow. I don't have the answers on how to make that happen, but the first step is for the powers that be to acknowledge that it is here. It is happening."
Some citizens see the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of heritage and Southern pride. For many people, the flag represents racism, hatred, and white supremacy. The Confederate battle flag has been used by racial hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan. It has also been incorporated into the official flags of several southern states.
Georgia adopted the emblem in its flag in 1956 as a response to the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision. The Confederate battle flag was permanently removed from Georgia's state flag in 2003, but it is still featured on Mississippi's flag.
Some Hip Hop figures - including Andre 3000, Ludacris, Yelawolf, and Lil Jon - have embraced the Confederate battle flag in the past. Kanye West even added the symbol to some of his "Yeezus Tour" apparel in 2013.
"People got bills. Don’t nobody care about the Confederate flag on that type of level," said Kanye in '13 about the backlash from using the flag on his merchandise.
[ALSO READ: Kanye West Speaks On Confederate Flag, Fashion & President Obama Calling Him A “Jacka**”]
Watch Trey Songz's interview below.