Watch: John Oliver on why the Confederate battle flag should come down, for good

In the wake of last week's Charleston shootings, people across the US want to see the "racist symbol" removed. 

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In the wake of the mass shooting last week in Charleston, South Carolina, flags across the state flew at half-mast. Except, that is, the small, square confederate battle flag in the grounds of the state's Capitol building, which is still merrily flapping away at the top of its pole.

Considering it represents an army that fought for the continuation of slavery in the United States during the civil war, this isn't exactly ideal. Add to that the fact that Dylann Roof, the killer, had Confederate licence plates, and it starts to look increasingly unacceptable. Over the past few days, the flag has sparked anger across the country.

On Sunday night, HBO late show host John Oliver weighed in on what he calls the "racist symbol". He notes that in fact, the South Carolina Heritage Act decrees that the flag can't be touched or moved unless two-thirds of the state's lawmakers agree. 

His response? "The question is, why is it flying at any staff at all?" Oliver goes on to offer advice on the best route forward for state lawmakers:

Now might be a great time, not just because of the events of this week, but because of the events of the past several centuries, to take that vote, and lower that flag to half-staff. And when it's at half staff, why not just keep lowering it all the way down, and whilst you have it in your hands, take it off the flagpole completely, fold it, or don't bother, put it in a box, label it "Bad flag", and put it somewhere no one can see it. Just a thought." 

You can see the rest of his highly enjoyable rant here:

Barbara Speed is comment editor at the i, and was technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman, and a staff writer at CityMetric.

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