Reigniting Unity by Removing the Confederate Flag

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Concerned Women for America is honored to stand with South Carolina’s Governor, Nikki Haley, in her call for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of South Carolina’s state capitol, and here’s why.

This matter has been an issue for over five decades, but we are speaking out now in support for Gov. Haley and Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) as a response to the recent tragic massacre in Charleston, South Carolina.

Without a doubt, this flag has historical relevance for some, but for our African-American brothers and sisters in Christ, it represents oppression, division, and slavery. It’s informative to take a look at how we got here. The confederate flag has not always flown over the South Carolina capitol or even on the grounds at all. The flag was first placed above the state capitol by liberal, pro-abortion, Democratic Gov. Fritz Hollings in 1962 in the midst of the civil-rights movement and school desegregation. This was an act of defiance and a means of intimidation to African-Americans fighting for equality and specifically to allow their children to attend the same schools as white children.

In 1996, Gov. David Beasley, a Republican, called for removal of the flag to a memorial on the State House grounds, but it wasn’t until 2000 that a compromise was reached, and the flag was moved from the capitol dome to the grounds in front of the capitol.  This shaky compromise remained the status quo until Dylann Roof brutally murdered nine Americans studying God’s word inside Charleston’s historic Mother Emanuel AME Church. This one act of hate based on race has served as a rallying cry for unity among all Christians.

Now is the time. Over 50 years from the time it was first flown over the South Carolina capitol, it is time for the flag to be removed and placed in a museum as a reminder of our history — the history we do not want to repeat, not the history of which we are proud.

We do this not out of fear of offending someone, but out of love — love for our neighbors and love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We don’t want to mistakenly support something that is keeping us from unity.

I came to this decision years ago. As a proud daughter of the South, I have always loved Southern culture and its people. However, when my sister in Christ and sweet friend Kay Cole James patiently explained how hurtful she found that symbol, I then saw it through her eyes. What seemed like a benign historical relic took on a different meaning.  Love for my brothers and sisters in Christ compels me to speak now.

Paul on many occasions speaks to the Church about unity, urging believers to set aside differences and put love first.

“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you,” 2 Corinthians 13:11.

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony,” Colossians 3:14.

Peter spoke to discouraged believers and, while reminding them of Christ’s example, he called them to “live as people who are free, not using [your] freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God,” 1 Peter 2:16. He also counseled them to humble themselves and compassionately seek unity.

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind,” 1 Peter 3:8.

The only time it is acceptable to knowingly offend someone is when we are standing up for Biblical principles. God’s Word trumps human feelings. In this case, we are simply respecting the feelings of those who see the flag as something negative. If someone has a different view and chooses to display the flag on their personal property, they should be allowed to do so.

Removing the Confederate flag from state grounds is just a tiny way to put God’s Word into action and show love and respect towards the friends and family of those who lost their lives in Charleston at the hands of hate — hands that CWA does not believe represent America as a whole. May God help us prove that to be true.