As a Southern white conservative whose forbearers fought for the Confederacy, I’m asking for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds in Columbia.

With the sickening news of racially motivated murders at a June 17 Bible study coming so closely on the heels of the killing of Walter Scott, the whole world was left in stunned disbelief as relatives of the victims extended forgiveness to the young man accused of taking the lives of nine precious souls.

In my entire life, I’ve never witnessed a more humbling display of cultural and spiritual maturity than was exhibited by the congregation of the Emmanuel AME Church and Charleston’s black citizens as a whole.

These same citizens see the Confederate flag as a symbol of a political system that sought their continued enslavement. No amount of cultural pride or historical significance is worth hurting people who stood like giants in the face of such great evil.

In fact, let’s leave the flag pole standing so the absence of the flag will serve as a reminder that it was not removed by court order or by legislative action, but in gratitude for the strength, forbearance and grace of our fellow citizens.

Please remove the Confederate flag.

Jeffery Adkins

Promenade Court

Mount Pleasant