Missourians share political positions on confederate flag

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COLUMBIA - The national conversation about the rightful place for the Confederate flag was sparked by the mass shooting at a South Carolina church June 17. That debate hit Missouri following allegations that state representative Chuck Basye saluted the southern flag at a ceremony he attended June 20.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton visited a church in Florissant Tuesday to share her thoughts on the flag and the South Carolina tragedy. Clinton called the flag a "symbol of our nation's racist past" and said it had "no place in our present or our future," according to the Associated Press.

Amid the controversy, some invested Missourians holding different beliefs about the flag's meaning shared theirs.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is an organization for male descendants of Confederate soldiers. The non-profit group has 13 chapters across Missouri and is a proponent of southern heritage and the Confederate flag.

KOMU 8 News could not reach S.C.V for comment, postings on the official page by the Chief of Heritage Operations Ben Jones clarify their position. The post says the S.C.V has "long detested the use of our forefather's symbols by racist groups and individuals. We consider it to be a cowardly desecration of our inheritance. Our ancestors fought for the South and of that we are not ashamed."

While some southern supporters deny the flag's connection to racial hatred, others like Jefferson City's NAACP branch president Nimrod T. Chapel, Jr. said he believes the correlation to slavery is inseparable.

"We need to look at our core values, those issues within the constitution and certainly free speech is one, people have the ability to appreciate any idea for what it is," Chapel said. "But at the point where it starts infringing on the rights of others is the fear, that's the concern. That this confederacy as an idea has become a rallying point for what can otherwise not be explained as anything short of plain old bigotry."

The Guitar Mansion, located in Columbia, is a piece of Civil War history and was built and owned by a Confederate army captain. Currently, that home only flies the American flag.

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