Removing the Confederate flag from the State House in South Carolina was the right thing to do, according to a majority of state residents who answered a Winthrop University poll.

In a survey of 963 adults conducted in September, 66 percent said they supported removing the flag. Among the state’s African American population, support for taking down the flag was 93 percent.

S.C. lawmakers voted to remove the flag in the immediate aftermath of the racially motivated killings of nine church members, including the pastor who was a S.C. state senator, at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church on June 17.

Before that killing, earlier Winthrop Polls showed weaker support for taking down the flag, especially among white conservatives.

The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percent.


When asked if the Confederate flag was more a symbol of racial conflict or of Southern pride, 40 percent said it stood for racial conflict, while 47 percent said it stood for Southern pride. Almost half of those who lean GOP said that if it were left to their personal choice, they’d let the flag continue to fly.

When it comes to the economy, only a fourth said the United States is headed in the right direction. Half said the country’s economic conditions as a whole are getting worse. Yet more than half think South Carolina is moving in a positive direction.

President Barack Obama’s approval rating in South Carolina stood at 41 percent. • South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who strongly urged legislators to take down the Confederate flag, had a 55 percent approval rating.

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court voted this summer that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage, half of the poll respondents said the union should not be recognized by law as valid. Yet when asked if county clerks or probate judges in the state should be allowed to deny a marriage license to same-sex couples, only 34% said yes.

Only 22 percent agreed with the statement that generations of slavery and discrimination made it harder for blacks to get ahead. Seventy-one percent disagreed with that statement.

Click here to see complete survey results.

Founder and publisher of Qcitymetro, Glenn has worked at newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and The Charlotte Observer.