I was not for taking the flag down before. There was no unity in the cause of taking it down. I did not consider the flag at that time to be a flag of hate. It was a show of southern pride, a symbol of states rights above federal statism.
There was a feeling of being bullied into taking it down.
That time has changed.
The flag needs to come down now as a showing of unity. The past meaning of the flag has been tarnished by hate.
Please read Katrina's post. She makes me proud of my state and the bright future we have. She took it to the Lord and there was her answer.
Katrina Shealy's post from Facebook...
Katrina Frye Shealy
7 hrs · Edited ·
On June 17, 2015 - 9 great South Carolinians were killed. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, grandparents were killed. Librarian, coach, custodian, barber, senator, pastors were killed. Good Christians professing their faith were killed. They were killed by a man full of hate and evil.
This hate is not possessed by all South Carolinians, just as all South Carolinians who fly the Confederate Battle Flag are not using it as a symbol of hate.
The truth is most South Carolinians are full of love and respect for all of their neighbors. The truth is nearly every South Carolinian has come together over the past week - unified by faith and love - to ensure the nation and the world know that hate will not overcome love in South Carolina. We have shown that, in times of tragedy, South Carolinians stands together, hand-in-hand: black and white, Hispanic and Indian, all races and religions. The truth is most South Carolinians do this not by looting our neighbors' businesses, not by destroying, not by fighting; but rather by coming together and praying.
The truth is most South Carolinians who fly this flag do so as a symbol of history.
While I was not in the Senate when the vote was made to fly the Confederate Battle Flag on the Statehouse Dome and while I was not in the Senate to move it to the monument on the Statehouse grounds, I am in the Senate now - when calls have been made to make immediate decisions on the flag. Many of these calls have come from folks outside of our state. Many of these calls have come from political talking heads looking to gain national media attention.
As I always do, I listen to my neighbors - the great people of South Carolina I represent in the State Senate. And, as I always do on the tough decisions that need to be made, I listened to God our Father through prayer and through Sacred Scripture. Galatians 3:28 reads "There is now no distinction neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." And, Isaiah 43:18 reads "Forget the Former things: do not dwell in the past."
It is through these prayers and reflections on scripture that I have been moved to ensure we move forward. It is through these prayers and reflections on scripture that I have been moved to ensure we do not allow the past to dictate our future. It is through these prayers and reflections on scripture that I have been moved to ensure that those who use this particular flag as a symbol of hate no longer point to our statehouse grounds as justification to continue doing this.
There will be many who disagree with me and many who will think it is the right thing to do. No matter which side you are on, I ask that you please respect my intentions to ensure all South Carolinians continue to stand together in efforts to do the right thing.