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Nikki Haley doesn't think people saw Confederate flag as racist until after Charleston shooting

It wasn't the white supremacy or enslavement of African Americans that gave the Confederate flag a bad rap — it was just one bad egg in South Carolina. At least, that's how former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley sees it.

Haley, South Carolina's ex-governor, said in an interview with The Blaze's Glenn Beck that the Confederate flag was a symbol of "service and sacrifice and heritage" until Dylann Roof opened fire in a Charleston church, killing nine black worshipers.

"Here is this guy that comes out with his manifesto, holding the confederate flag and had just hijacked everything that people thought of," Haley said. "People saw [the flag] as service and sacrifice and heritage. But once he did that, there was no way to overcome it."

Haley's comments garnered ample Twitter criticism, although fellow South Carolinian and former state representative Bakari Sellers came to Haley's defense, saying she "misspoke."

CNN's Abby Phillip also seemed confused by the comments and said Haley told her in 2015 that she was "fully aware" many people in South Carolina associated the flag with hate before Roof.

Phillip's recollection makes sense, considering South Carolina was certainly rife with hate groups in 2015. Haley, for her part, said in her interview with Beck that "we don't have hateful people in South Carolina."