Sons of Confederate Veterans member says flag is about heritage - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Sons of Confederate Veterans member says flag is about heritage

Throughout the Palmetto State, you may find little memorials for fallen South Carolinians, like several around Conway. Those sites are filled with gravestones and Confederate flags, the same flag that is now back up for a heated discussion. Throughout the Palmetto State, you may find little memorials for fallen South Carolinians, like several around Conway. Those sites are filled with gravestones and Confederate flags, the same flag that is now back up for a heated discussion.
"We've never seen the flag as a flag of hatred whatsoever, only a flag of heritage,” Graham explained. "We've never seen the flag as a flag of hatred whatsoever, only a flag of heritage,” Graham explained.

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Throughout the Palmetto State, you may find little memorials for fallen South Carolinians, like several around Conway. Those sites are filled with gravestones and Confederate flags, the same flag that is now back up for a heated discussion.

"It's not just honoring one set of veterans, it's honoring all of them,” explained Jamie Graham, the Chief of Staff for the South Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans.

In those same spots, you may also find Jamie Graham. The longtime Sons of Confederate Veterans member spends much of his free time cleaning up these sites, including replacing whatever flag that fallen soldier may have fought for.

"We've never seen the flag as a flag of hatred whatsoever, only a flag of heritage,” Graham explained.

On Monday, Graham found himself clenching to those flags tighter after Governor Nikki Haley's weighed in the flag.

"This is a moment in which we can say that that flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state,” Haley said in her speech Monday afternoon.

The Governor asked that the same flag Graham and other South Carolinians hold dear be taken down from outside the State House. She said while it may be a source of pride and heritage for some, it means something much worse for others.

“It has always represented hatred, because it was used as a symbol of hatred, so that's what we always thought of the flag in South Carolina and any other place,” said Mickey James with the Myrtle Beach branch of the NAACP.

"It's sad that the perception of the flag is racist, but I know with all of my heart that it's not,” Graham said.

Back in Conway, Jamie Graham understands the pain and heartbreak with that flag, but also sees the other side of it.

He hopes people will think about the thousands of South Carolinas who died in battle before making a final decision.

"I'm disappointed by that, but I firmly believe that it should be the state of South Carolina's decision."

Governor NIkki Haley did agree with the fact that this should be only South Carolina's decision. She's now urging the General Assembly to talk about removing the flag and says she will use what power she has to make sure the discussions take place.

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