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Danner, Griffin say it's time for Confederate flag to be removed from Capitol

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, June 22, 2015

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Rev. Samuel McPherson, presiding elder of Abbeville-Greenwood District of AME Church, offered a prayer on Monday. McPherson said he knew six of the nine victims killed last week.
 
 

Jim Fair

Rev. Samuel McPherson, presiding elder of Abbeville-Greenwood District of AME Church, offered a prayer on Monday. McPherson said he knew six of the nine victims killed last week.

 

 



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Those attending were given blue ribbons to wear in memory of the victims.
 

Jim Fair

Those attending were given blue ribbons to wear in memory of the victims.

 

• Sen. Tim Scott's statement.

A prayer by Rev. Steve Watson at a public vigil at Maple Creek Missionary Baptist Church Monday implored, “Don’t allow the death of those nine individuals to be in vain.”

Two hours later South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, flanked by the state’s two senators and a diverse group of legislators called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State House.

“Today we are here in a moment of unity in our state without ill will to say it is time to remove the flag from our capitol grounds,” Haley said. “This flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state.”

Watson was among eight clergy, community and civic leaders, to add to the outpouring of grief after a racist gunman killed nine African-Americans last Wednesday night during a Bible study at Charleston’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Dylann Storm Roof, a white, 21-year old has been charged with the shooting.

Mayor Rick Danner, just back from a trip to China, told the congregation it was time for the flag to be removed.

“If there is any emblem, any symbol, any vestige of bigotry or racism that separates this great state, that possibly resides in our capital, even on the grounds where our legislature meets, that those that are empowered and make decisions about that, might take that symbol and place it in its rightful place inside a museum.”

A sustained applause and shouts of “Amen” filled the sanctuary.

“It still needs to be acted on by the legislature. It’s a state issue,” Danner said. “I would like to think that we’re a progressive enough state that we don’t need this to be a divisive issue. It’s something that deserves its rightful place, and in my opinion it belongs in a museum. It’s time we put this behind us.”

City Councilman Wayne Griffin said, “That young man acted out of symbolism. I’ve got a six-month-old grandson … and I’m going to bring him up like my father brought me up, there’s good and there’s bad in every race.

“You treat people like you want to be treated. Treat people with love. That was the main thing that came out Charleston. Even those people that lost their lives in that church. Family after family said ‘I forgive you.’”

Griffin also emphasized the massacre was reason enough to bring an end to the Confederate flag at the Capitol.

“Bad things happen when good people sit back and do nothing. That flag, don’t get me wrong, that flag may be heritage to some people, but to some people it is hate,” Griffin said.

“When I look at it, I see hate. It may be heritage to you. But it shouldn’t be that it flies on our statehouse grounds and it flies because people sit back and say nothing,” Griffin said. “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. One flag. United we stand, divided we fall.”

 

 

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