In an article published on Friday, April 27, 2007 in the Charleston Post and Courier the Reverend Joseph A. Darby, Senior Pastor of Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church, shares his thoughts on the continuing confederate flag debate in South Carolina. The most recent rash of controversy has been stirred up as a result of University of South Carolina football coach, Steve Spurrier, taking a public position in opposition to the flag.
For those of you unfamiliar with the confederate flag debate in South Carolina, a few years ago the flag was removed from the top of the State Capital and placed in another, still prominent, place on the State House grounds.
Rev. Darby’s article is largely in response to statements made by Sen. Glenn McConnell who is a confederate flag supporter. In referring to the NAACP sanctions resolution, Rev. Darby starts out by saying that “the Senator and I disagree on what constitutes sovereign placement.” The NAACP resolution maintains that the only flags that should fly in front of any public building, whether a post office, a school or the state house should be the flags of an existing sovereign government. The resolution goes on to state that the bipartisan compromise which placed the flag on State House grounds has failed to resolve the issue.
Rev. Darby graciously stated that he had “no interest, whatsoever, in obliterating the role of the flag in southern history. The armies that marched, fought and died behind that flag are an interwoven element of the fabric of southern history. That history, however, is of a nation formed in part to assure the right of states to maintain an economic system based on people owning people. Slavery is also a part of American history and the flag of the United States of America flew for a time over northern slavery. The United States of America, however, is still an existing sovereign government. The Confederate States of America no longer exists as a sovereign government..
While I personally believe that the Confederate flag has no business being anywhere on our State House grounds, Rev. Darby believes that there is “adequate room on the grounds of the State House for the placement of the flag in a position that clearly denotes history and not heritage and I do hope that it is found and agreed to sooner rather than later so that the matter can be resolved and that all South Carolinians, can celebrate our shared heritage and offer appropriate respect for our diverse heritage.”