Bentley: Difference between Confederate flag, appearance on trooper emblem

Bentley: Difference between Confederate flag, appearance on trooper emblem

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Governor Robert Bentley said he has no plans of getting rid of the Alabama State Trooper seal, despite calls from NAACP leaders to do so, due to the appearance of the Confederate flag within.

The Governor received both applause and criticism for removing the Confederate flag from the State Capitol, a decision which has led to a lawsuit.

He said there's a difference between the two.
"The seal is different," Bentley said. "The seal is the flags that have flown over the great state of Alabama since the beginning of time."

Bentley said the trooper seal is symbolic of all the past state flags, whereas he can see why some view the Confederate flag by itself as a symbol of hate.

The governor says he's committed to changing the world's perception of Alabama.

"I want Alabama to be looked at in a different way. We are not the state of Governor George Wallace and 1963," Bentley said.

The NAACP said for that to happen, the Confederate flag has got to go.

"The time is right. I think we just need to do a clean sweep of the state and local government," said the Reverend Robert L. Shanklin.

The governor says the Confederate flag and the state trooper seal featuring the flag symbolize two different things.

"The symbol that is being talked about right now is symbolic of all the flags that flew over Alabama- the British flag, the Confederate flag, the American flag," Bentley said. "All of the flags that have flown over the state of Alabama - and that's what the seal represents, and that's just historic."

Governor Bentley also said he has no plans to remove Confederate monuments either, but believes taking down the Confederate flag outside the capitol was a symbolic gesture.

He said there are other ways to celebrate southern heritage.

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