Less than a week after a gunman entered the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and killed nine people, Gov. Nikki Haley called on the state legislature to remove the Confederate battle flag from the state Capitol grounds. Monday's speech marked a near complete reversal from just eight months earlier when Haley said that the flag was not a problem for the southern state's image. Haley announced her intentions to cheers from those in attendance, and behind her stood several state lawmakers and both U.S. senators from the state.

In her speech, Haley spoke to the complexity of the flag's history with the people of South Carolina, but ultimately determined that placing a symbol so prominently on state grounds was inappropriate given how divisive the flag can be. Some view the flag as a symbol of heritage and honor, she said, while others see it as racist imagery.

Debate around the flag swelled after photos of the church shooter surfaced online. In the photos, 21-year-old Dylann Roof is seen waving the Confederate flag and holding a gun. On his alleged personal website, Roof wrote that he wanted to start a 'race war.'

Here are some of the most memorable quotes from Haley's press conference Monday. You can read the full transcript below.

"I want to talk a little bit about the heart of our state. I want to talk about the people of South Carolina I’m so proud to serve. The country and the world have watched our strength and resilience over the last few days. We are strong people who love god, our families, and have a deep faith. We believe in neighbors helping neighbors. We are a state that has held tight to our traditions and continue to grow and change in ways that move us forward."

Haley said this while recognizing that the state had been under increased scrutiny in the recent past. She acknowledged another high profile racial shooting in South Carolina, the shooting of a black man, Walter Scott, during what appeared to be a routine traffic stop in Charleston for a vehicle light violation. A video of the Scott shooting surfaced online and went viral, leading to nationwide protests of the police violence and, ultimately, the arrest and indictment of the officer seen in the video shooting Scott, who was fleeing when he was fatally struck.

"South Carolina did not respond with rioting and violence like other places have. We responded by talking to each other. By putting ourselves in other people’s shoes and by finding common ground in the name of moving our state forward."

This is a relatively obvious mention of some of cities that have seen violence after the deaths of unarmed African Americans in the last year or so. There was widespread violence in Ferguson, Missouri, late last year after the killing of Michael Brown when an officer stopped Brown for jay walking. Recently there were riots in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody after a brutal arrest for what appeared to be just looking at the officer and running.

"On matters of race, South Carolina has a tough history. We all know that. Many of us have seen it in our own lives, in the lives of our parents and our grandparents. We don’t need reminders."

"For many people in our state the flag stands for traditions that are noble. Traditions of history, of heritage and of ancestry. The hate-filled murderer who massacred our brothers and sisters in Charleston has a sick and twisted view of the flag. In no way does he reflect the people of our state who respect, and in many ways, revere it."

There's some solid support for the flag in the state, too. In 2014, 60 percent of South Carolinians thought the flag should stay. About one-third thought it should be taken down.

"One hundred and fifty years after the end of the Civil War, the time has come. There will be some in our state who see this as a sad moment. I respect that. But know this, for good and for bad, whether it is on the statehouse grounds or in a museum the flag will always be a part of the soil in South Carolina. But this is a moment in which we can say that that flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state."

South Carolina was the last state to take the flag off of its state Capitol's dome. It is currently on the grounds, and is padlocked in place. To move it, the legislature will have to hold a vote that receives two-thirds support.

"The murderer now locked up in Charleston said he hoped his actions would start a race war. We have an opportunity to show that not only was he wrong, but that just the opposite is happening. My hope is that by removing a symbol that divides us we can move forward as a state in harmony and we can honor the nine blessed souls who are now in heaven."

In the days after the attack, the personal website for the shooter, Dylann Roof, was uncovered. The site featured a racist manifesto in which he said he wanted to start a 'race war.'

"It is South Carolina’s historic moment, and this will be South Carolina’s decision. To those outside of our state, the flag may be nothing more than a symbol of the worst of America’s past. That is not what it is to many South Carolinians. The state house belongs to all of us. Their voices will be heard, and their role in this debate will be respected."

There has been a lot of pressure on lawmakers in the state from outside of South Carolina to take the flag down.

"July fourth is just around the corner. Soon we will once again celebrate the birth of our nation and of our freedoms. It will be fitting that our state Capitol will soon fly the flags of our country and of our state, and no others."

And, finally:

"Fifteen years ago after much contentious debate South Carolina came together in a bipartisan way to move the flag from atop the Capitol dome. Today, we are here in a moment of unity in our state without ill will to say it’s time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds."

Read the transcript below: 



Alright, so normally I try and get y’all ready and I’m just not going to try and do that with my thumbs up so um hopefully y’all are ready to go… uhm…

This has been a very difficult time for our state we have stared evil in the eye and watched good, prayerful people killed in one of the most sacred of places. We were hurt and broken and we needed to heal. We were able to start that process, not by issues -- talking about issues that divide us, but by holding vigils. By hugging neighbors, by honoring those we lost, and by falling to our knees in prayer.

Our state’s grieving, but we are also coming together. The outpouring of love and support from all corners of people across this state and country has been amazing. The families who lost loved ones have been unbelievable pillars of strength and grace. Their expression of faith and forgiveness took our breath away. They truly have shown the world what South Carolina looks like at our best.

And the mother Emanuel church reopened its doors yesterday. Michael and I were there. We took our two little ones, Rena and Nalin. My children saw what true faith looks like. My children saw that true hate can never triumph over true love. My children saw the heart and soul of South Carolina starting to mend.

I want to talk a little bit about the heart of our state. I want to talk about the people of South Carolina I’m so proud to serve. The country and the world have watched our strength and resilience over the last few days. We are strong people who love god, our families, and have a deep faith. We believe in neighbors helping neighbors. We are a state that has held tight to our traditions and continue to grow and change in ways that move us forward. We were recently named the friendliest state in the country. And the most patriotic, too. American flags flap proudly from home to home in South Carolina. In just the last few months the nation watched our state go through another time of crisis when we dealt with the betrayal of one of our own in the tragic shooting of Walter Scott.

South Carolina did not respond with rioting and violence like other places have. We responded by talking to each other. By putting ourselves in other people’s shoes and by finding common ground in the name of moving our state forward

The result: both republicans and democrats, black and white, came together and passed the first body camera bill in the country. And i stand in front of you a minority female governor twice elected by the people of South Carolina. behind me stands my friend senator Tim Scott elected by those same people as one of just two African American members of the united states senate.

Five years ago it was said in the last 50 years South Carolina is the state that has changed the most for the better. That was true when I quoted it at my first inauguration in 2011; it’s even more true today. We have changed through the times and we’ll continue to do so. But that does not mean we forget our history. History is often filled with emotion. And that’s truer in South Carolina than a lot of other places.

On matters of race, South Carolina has a tough history. We all know that.

Many of us have seen it in our own lives, in the lives of our parents and our grandparents. We don’t need reminders.

In spite of last week’s tragedy, we have come a long way since those days and have much to be proud of. That brings me to the subject of the confederate flag that flies on the statehouse grounds.

For many people in our state the flag stands for traditions that are noble. Traditions of history, of heritage and of ancestry.

The hate-filled murderer who massacred our brothers and sisters in Charleston has a sick and twisted view of the flag. In no way does he reflect the people of our state who respect, and in many ways, revere it.

Those South Carolinians view the flag as a symbol of respect, integrity and duty. They also see it as a memorial. A way to honor ancestors who came to the service of their state during time of conflict. That is not hate, nor is it racism.

At the same time, for many others in South Carolina, the flag is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past. As a state, we can survive and indeed we can thrive as we have done whilst still being home to both of those viewpoints. We do not need to declare a winner and a loser here.

We respect freedom of expression. And that for those who wish to show their respect for the flag on their private property, no one will stand in your way.

But the statehouse is different. And the events of this past week call upon us to look at this in a different way.

Fifteen years ago after much contentious debate South Carolina came together in a bipartisan way to move the flag from atop the Capitol dome. Today, we are here in a moment of unity in our state without ill will to say it’s time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds.

[Applause]

 One hundred and fifty years after the end of the Civil War, the time has come. There will be some in our state who see this as a sad moment. I respect that. But know this, for good and for bad, whether it is on the statehouse grounds or in a museum the flag will always be a part of the soil in South Carolina. But this is a moment in which we can say that that flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state.

The murderer now locked up in Charleston said he hoped his actions would start a race war. We have an opportunity to show that not only was he wrong, but that just the opposite is happening.

My hope is that by removing a symbol that divides us we can move forward as a state in harmony and we can honor the nine blessed souls who are now in heaven.

[Clapping]

The general assembly wraps up their year this week and as governor I have the authority to call them back into session under extraordinary circumstances. I have indicated to the house and the senate that if they do not take measures to ensure this debate takes place this summer I will use that authority for the purpose of the legislature removing the flag from the statehouse grounds.

[Applause]

That will take place in the coming weeks after the regular session and the veto session have been completed. There will be a time for discussion and debate.  But the time for action is coming soon.

I want to make two things very clear. First, this is South Carolina’s statehouse.

It is South Carolina’s historic moment, and this will be South Carolina’s decision. To those outside of our state, the flag may be nothing more than a symbol of the worst of America’s past. That is not what it is to many South Carolinians. The state house belongs to all of us. Their voices will be heard, and their role in this debate will be respected.

We have made incredible progress in South Carolina. On racial issues, yes, but on so many others. The 21st century belongs to us because we have chosen to seize what is in front of us. To do what is right, and to do it together.

I have every faith that this will be no different. It is what we do in South Carolina. It is who we are.

Second, I understand that what I have said here today will generate a lot of interest. What I ask is that the focus still remain on the nine victims of this horrible tragedy. Their families, the Mother Emanuel family, the AME church family, the South Carolina family. We all deserve time to grieve, and to remember and to heal. We will take it, and I ask that you respect that.

We know that bringing down the confederate flag will not bring back the nine kind souls that were taken from us, nor rid us of the hate and bigotry that drove a monster through the doors of Mother Emanuel that night. Some divisions are bigger than a flag. The evil we saw last Wednesday comes from a place much deeper, much darker.

But we are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer. The fact that people are choosing to use it as a sign of hate is something that we cannot stand. The fact that it causes pain to so many is enough to move it from the capitol grounds.

It is, after all, a Capitol that belongs to all of us.

July fourth is just around the corner. Soon we will once again celebrate the birth of our nation and of our freedoms.

It will be fitting that our state Capitol will soon fly the flags of our country and of our state, and no others.

God bless, god bless the people of the great state of South Carolina.

Thank you.