A man holds a sign up during a protest rally against the Confederate flag in Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2015. 
Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty

An amazing shift in the political winds

We have a fairly complete picture of what motivated the confessed gunman in last week’s massacre in Charleston. A racist specifically chose the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME), murdered nine African Americans at a prayer meeting, and hoped to start a race war.
 
Chances are, the killer had no idea that he would not only fail, but he would help serve as an impetus for progressive change.
 
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) endorsed a plan yesterday afternoon to remove the Confederate battle flag from the capitol grounds. So far, the proposal, which enjoys bipartisan backing, is fairly well positioned to succeed.
 
But South Carolina isn’t the only state relevant to the discussion. Mississippi literally includes a Confederate symbol in its official state flag – a symbol that Mississippi’s Republican state House Speaker is ready to change. As Rachel noted on the show last night, this Clarion-Ledger piece came as quite a surprise.
The Rachel Maddow Show, 6/22/15, 10:59 PM ET

Mississippi House speaker calls for change in state flag

Rachel Maddow reports breaking news that the Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn has described his state flag’s incorporation of the Confederate battle flag as “a point of offense that needs to be removed.”
Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn said Monday night that the Confederate emblem in the state’s official flag has to go.
 
“We must always remember our past, but that does not mean we must let it define us,” Gunn, a Clinton Republican, said in a statement. “As a Christian, I believe our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed. We need to begin having conversations about changing Mississippi’s flag.”
The article noted just what a rarity this is: Gunn’s statement marks “the first time a Mississippi Republican elected official has publicly called for the removal of the emblem that served as the battle flag flown by the Confederate army during the Civil War.”
 
Around the same time, Walmart announced it will stop selling all Confederate flag merchandise in its stores.
 
A week ago, none of this seemed possible, but six days after heartbreaking violence, the winds of change are blowing – and picking up speed.
 
Dylann Storm Roof believed he could use a gun, take many innocent lives, and create major change. The monster had no idea just what kind of change he’d bring.
 

Charleston Church Shooting, Mississippi, South Carolina and Wal-Mart

An amazing shift in the political winds