Sons of Confederate Veterans react to Confederate flag removal f - FOX Carolina 21

Sons of Confederate Veterans react to Confederate flag removal from Capitol grounds

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

As the Confederate flag was taken down from State Capitol grounds, many said it was a great day for South Carolina, but for those who wanted the flag to stay, it was a day they would say is far from great.

"South Carolina, along with Georgia, North Carolina they all fought under this flag," said Rollis Smith.

Rollis Smith is the Lt. Commander of the South Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  He said the removal of the flag was an event he could not be a part of.

"I couldn't watch it, I have heard what happened," he said.

An issue he has is with the way the flag was folded and rolled to be placed in a museum. 

"There's a proper way to fold all flags and that flag was folded up with a zip tie placed around it," said Smith.

A professor of history at Clemson University said the flag is not to be folded in the way the American flag is.  He said today's events are a learning moment in the state's history.

"We have learned that this flag means different things to different groups of people," said Orville Vernon Burton.

He said for many, the flag means heritage and for others, he said it means hate.

"We can begin to have a dialogue to begin to understand what other people think, what their desires are and to have a truly integrated society instead of two communities," said Burton.

And for those who wanted the flag to come down, they said they are hopeful for South Carolina's future.

"I think this is really going to help us move forward," said Tom Clements who lives in South Carolina. "This happening is true indication that two opposing sides can come together and do something for the benefit of everyone," said Patrick Barnes who supported the flag coming down. 

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