Tags: SC Church Shooting | Lindsey Graham | confederate flag | remove | state capitol | Grace

Lindsey Graham: Church Victims' Families Changed my Support Away from Confederate Flag

By    |   Sunday, 28 June 2015 01:04 PM

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said the grace shown by family members of the nine black church members slain at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston earlier this month have quickly changed his feelings on the Confederate flag being flown on the grounds of the state Capitol building.

Had he been asked the day before the killings, Graham, who also is running for president, said he would have supported the 15-year-old compromise that moved the flag from atop the Capitol to a Civil War memorial nearby, but still on public grounds. That compromise also built a monument to African Americans, he noted.

The compromise had worked for most South Carolinians, but after the shooting that immediately unraveled. Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man has been charged in the killings, and witnesses said he stated his purpose was to start a race war. He can be seen in photographs posing with the Confederate flag and burning the American flag.

"The people at the AME church, the families of the victims, changed everything by their grace, by their love, by their forgiveness, making it impossible for a guy like me to say, keep the flag up," Graham said on "NBC's Meet the Press."

Story continues below video.

Some see the flag as a racist symbol, while others view it as an ode to Southern pride. Graham said that at this point, "I see it as a roadblock for South Carolina" and it should be put in a museum.

"You can look at it any way you want," he said. "The only flag that's meant anything to me is the United States flag, which I served for 33 years as an Air Force officer."

Graham said New York Times columnist David Brooks overreached in calling for the removal of the names of Confederate leaders, such as Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, from buildings and roads. Washington, D.C., is named for a slave owner, but George Washington should be looked at for his overall achievements, Graham said.

"As to Robert E. Lee, if it wasn't for his leadership after the war, urging his soldiers to lay down their weapons and become good Americans, only God knows what would've happened after 1865," he said.

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South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said the grace shown by family members of the nine black church members slain at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston earlier this month have quickly changed his feelings on the Confederate flag being flown on the grounds of the state Capitol...
Lindsey Graham, confederate flag, remove, state capitol, Grace
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2015-04-28
Sunday, 28 June 2015 01:04 PM
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