The Confederate flag debate is still going strong!
This time, a South Carolina gubernatorial candidate is working to split the difference between showing she understands the hate many have for the CSA flag, while still acknowledging that the rebel flag is something others are proud of.
Catherine Templeton, a Republican, is running for South Carolina governor as a primary challenger to the current governor, Henry McMaster. She recently spoke at a grassroots GOP gathering stating that she’s “proud of the Confederacy,” but that embracing that pride doesn’t mean she is “backtracking” in her support for the flag’s removal from the state's capitol.
"I supported Govenor Haley and our Legislature because a bad man took our symbol and turned it into hate," Templeton said according the Associated Press. "But I am South Carolina born and raised, and I am proud of our history. We are standing on the shoulders of giants, and I don't apologize for that."
That “bad man” is Dylan Roof, who was convicted in the Charleston church massacre and who publicly lauded the flag, referring to it as a white supremacist symbol.Templeton, a former director of the state's labor and public health departments, assured potential voters that her statements don’t mean that she is wavering in her support of then Governor Nikki Haley and state lawmakers’ decision to remove the Confederate flag. The official decision, made after a much-heated debate, was the primary subject of questions and concerns at a Pickens County Republican Party-sponsored town hall meeting Templeton attended.
"I think what we did was we reacted, and I think that's what happens in government a lot," Templeton said to the audience. "I am proud to be from South Carolina. I am proud of the Confederacy. But I'm not going to second-guess what the people in the Statehouse did when I wasn't there."
"It was a reaction. I think that our governor managed a tragedy in the best way any of us knew how, and she needed support on the day the flag came down," Templeton added.
While Templeton supports the Confederate flag removal, her allegiance to taking down CSA symbols stops there. She confirmed to the AP that she does not support Confederate monument removal.
"I am very happy to be a South Carolinian, and I think that particular issue has been discussed and resolved, and I think everybody I know who lives in South Carolina is very happy to be a South Carolinian," McMaster said to The Post and Courier of Charleston.
There are certainly a variety of feelings surrounding the Confederate flag and its subsequent images. We’re sure we’ll be hearing more strong opinions from officials in the near future!