February 28, 2000
It is our profound hope that the people of South Carolina will come to the conclusion that the flying of the Confederate flag is a divisive symbol, offensive to citizens of all backgrounds – and that it should be removed from atop the state capitol.
South Carolina has a proud and a distinguished heritage. The confederate flag, while clearly a symbol of pride to many, is also a symbol of slavery that is now part of our distant but not forgotten past. The flag’s reappearance in 1962, during the heart of the civil rights movement, gave it a more contemporary association – as a statement against the forces of integration.
The Confederate flag’s continued use in an official capacity atop the South Carolina seat of government, then, is seen as more than just a historic relic. It is seen by some as an act of defiance against the goals of the American civil rights movement to ensure equal opportunity for all its citizens.
Therefore, we call upon the South Carolina legislature to remove the flag to an appropriate place – a museum or historical society, for example – where it can still be viewed and at the same time understood in the context of American history and its lessons.