The latest blow to the Confederate flag: The battle flag displayed at the Alabama state Capitol was removed today, quietly, by two workers who took it down around 8:20am, AL.com reports. Though they wouldn't answer questions, Gov. Robert Bentley exited the building soon after and acknowledged he had ordered the flag's removal. Asked if his decision had to do with the Charleston massacre, he said, "Yes, partially this is about that. This is the right thing to do. We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with. This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down."
The battle flag is the one "at the center of the controversy," AL.com notes, but three other Civil War-era flags—the First, Second, and Third National Confederate flags, the first two of which are also known as the Stars and Bars and the Stainless Banner—were initially still flying at the Capitol's confederate memorial. However, about an hour and a half later, workers removed those as well. (Read more Confederate flag stories.)