My Take: Confederate Battle Flag Debate

. - The following My Take is an expression of opinion by the editorial board at WIS, and presented by Vice President and General Manager Lyle Schulze.

The past week has shown the best and worst of humanity. The sickening actions that took the lives of 9 victims at an historic house of God will forever be seared into our memories. However, in the days that

followed, we rallied together and showed not violent anger, but unison and love.

Last week's events also brought a controversial issue back to the forefront…the Confederate flag flying from the State House grounds.

The arguments are not new. Opponents want the flag taken down and stored in a museum. They see it as a source of hate, racial division, intolerance and oppression.

Looking at that same flag, others see something completely different. A symbol of heritage and not hate, a sign of rebellion and a source of pride for all people from the south.

No matter your personal opinion, both views should at least be respected.

Hate groups who adopted the flag as their symbol have made the argument of heritage supporters much more difficult. And after the actions of the past week, we've seen a breaking point. Those photos we've all

seen of the accused killer parading the flag with his messages of hate have sickened both those who want the flag gone and those who hold it dear.

Our state has endured years of NCAA and NAACP boycotts. Now, we are being ridiculed by the nation at large. Whether fair or not, South Carolina is being labeled as a place of bigotry and hatred.  Instead of

our scenic beauty and hospitable atmosphere, we are painted as a state divided and ripe for ridicule.

With prominent legislators now speaking out against the flag, now is the time for deep soul searching. We must reach out to our elected leaders and share our views. Hopefully, whatever happens, we will emerge

as a stronger state in unison. That's my take, what's yours?