GOVERNOR ORDERS REMOVAL OF CONFEDERATE FLAGS

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has ordered Confederate flags taken down from the grounds of the Alabama Capitol.

Bentley issued the order Wednesday morning. At least one of the four flags has been removed.

Bentley spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis tells The Associated Press that Bentley didn’t want their presence to be “a distraction.” Ardis says there’s no law prohibiting their removal by executive order.

For the past two decades, Alabama has displayed four Confederate flags around an 88-foot-tall monument to Confederate soldiers outside the Alabama Capitol in Montgomery. The monument stands at the Capitol entrance nearest the governor’s office.

Jefferson Davis, the lone president of the Confederacy, is said to have laid the cornerstone at a ceremony in 1886.

Bentley’s order and other calls for removal of flags and other Confederate symbols around the South come in the wake of the shooting deaths of nine people at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The man charged had posed in photos with the Confederate battle flag..

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