Graham on Confederate Flag in SC: ‘Part of Who We Are’

Friday on CNN’s “New Day,” when asked about the controversy of the two flags on the statehouse dome in Columbia, SC being lowered to half-staff to pay tribute to the nine people murdered in Charleston’s Emanuel AME church, but with the Confederate flag also on statehouse grounds still atop its pole, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) discussed the history of the flag.

Graham said, “I don’t know. The compromise years ago, the Black Caucus in South Carolina, and Republicans and Democrats came up with a compromise to take the Confederate flag off the dome of capitol and build an African-American memorial on one side of the capital and there is a Civil War memorial out in front of the capitol. They put a flag behind that memorial. I don’t know what the laws are about lowering it.”

“Here is what I do want to say. We are not going to give him and excuse about a movie he watched or a song he listened to or a symbol out anywhere. It’s him. It’s not a book, it’s not a move, it’s not a flag.  it’s him”

He continued, “At the end of the day, if it’s time for people in South Carolina to revisit that decision it would be fine by me. But this is part of who we are. The flag represents to some people a Civil War. That was the symbol of one side. To others it’s a racist symbol. It’s been used by people in a racist way. The problems we have in South Carolina and throughout the world are not because of a symbol. It’s because of what’s in people’s heart. How do you go back and reconstruct America? What do we do in terms of our history?”

He added, “I think the answer is we move forward in a balanced way and make sure that the compromise in South Carolina works here.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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