U.S. President Donald Trump declined to say the Confederate flag was an offensive symbol in an interview broadcast on Sunday, saying it is a source of pride for people who love the South. The Republican president was asked on “Fox News Sunday” if the flag, a symbol of U.S. slavery and white supremacy for many Americans, was offensive, APA reports quoting Reuters.
“It depends on who you’re talking about, when you’re talking about,” Trump responded. “When people proudly had their Confederate flags they’re not talking about racism. They love their flag, it represents the South. They like the South ... I say it’s freedom of many things, but it’s freedom of speech.”
Trump has in the past appeared sympathetic to the flag and symbols of the Confederacy of the 1861-65 Civil War.
In 2017, he criticized the removal of monuments to the Confederacy and said there were “very fine people on both sides” of a deadly clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Earlier this month, he criticized NASCAR’s ban of the Confederate flag from its events.