For many years a Confederate battle flag flew beside the Confederate Soldier Monument on the grounds of the South Carolina State House. I know this flag is proudly honored by many fine South Carolinians as a symbol of their heritage and urged acceptance of and respect for that reality. But I also know that this flag has been hijacked by hate groups and is perceived by many as symbol of human bondage and slavery, and for that reason I voted for it to be furled and removed from the State House grounds. My deceased friend, Clementa Pinckney, said it very well at the tender age of 26: “If we are able to resolve this issue, we have the great potential of solving larger problems and larger issues in the state. I don't argue with anyone who feels the flag represents their Southern heritage. However, it is not their Statehouse. It is our Statehouse."