A photo emerged on Monday night that showed Stacey Abrams, Georgia's Democratic candidate for governor, burning the state's flag during a protest at Georgia's Capitol in 1992 while she was a freshman at Spelman College in Atlanta.
"Ms. Abrams’s role in the protest, which took place around the end of her freshman year at Spelman College in Atlanta, has begun to emerge on social media on the eve of her first debate Tuesday with her Republican opponent, Secretary of State Brian Kemp," The New York Times reported. "Mr. Kemp and his allies have sought to portray her as 'too extreme for Georgia.'"
The photo of Abrams burning Georgia's state flag "appeared in an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in June 1992" and showed Abrams "standing with students burning the Georgia state flag at the state Capitol."
Abrams' campaign released a statement on Monday addressing her flag burning, noting that Georgia's flag at the time partially incorporated the Confederate battle flag.
"During Stacey Abrams’ college years, Georgia was at a crossroads, struggling with how to overcome racially divisive issues, including symbols of the Confederacy, the sharpest of which was the inclusion of the Confederate emblem in the Georgia state flag," Abrams' statement said, according to The Times. "This conversation was sweeping across Georgia as numerous organizations, prominent leaders, and students engaged in the ultimately successful effort to change the flag."
"Abrams’ time in public service as deputy city attorney and as a state legislative leader have all been focused on bringing people together to solve problems," the statement concluded.
The Times added that the state's flag was "changed in 2001 in such a way that the battle flag’s size was minimized" and that "the battle flag was completely removed from the design with a second change in 2003."
"The change to the flag is believed to have cost Georgia’s last Democratic governor, Roy Barnes, his re-election bid in 2002, as he faced criticism from a vocal group of 'flaggers' who argued that the symbol was not about racism, but the valor and sacrifice of the South’s Civil War troops," The Times concluded.
Abrams has stirred controversy recently after she said last week that illegal aliens were going to be a part of the Democrat's blue wave in November.
"The thing of it is, the blue wave is African American. It is white. It is Latino. It is Asian-Pacific Islander," Abrams said. "It is made up of those who've been told that they are not worthy of being here. It is comprised of those who are documented and undocumented."
Abrams previously defended taking out-of-state campaign donations by arguing that Georgia is a "national state."
The Washington Free Beacon also noted that Abrams came under fire recently "over a decision to loan her campaign $50,000 while owing over $54,000 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)."