CHARLESTON, SC – The Citadel released a statement Tuesday evening in regards to the Confederate Flag hanging in Summerall Chapel on its campus.
The statement from the Citadel:
The Citadel has directly felt the impact of the tragedy at Emanuel AME Church as one of the victims was a Citadel Graduate College alumnus and six of our employees lost family members. The Emanuel AME Church is our neighbor and we consider it a part of our extended Citadel family. We will continue to support the church and its members in their time of need.
Tuesday, The Citadel Board of Visitors voted 9-3 in favor of moving the Confederate Naval Jack from Summerall Chapel to an appropriate location on campus. The move will require an amendment to the Heritage Act by the South Carolina legislature. The board’s motion authorizes the Chair of the Board of Visitors and the administration of the college to work with the legislature on the amendment.
The Board of Visitors and I believe now is the right time to move the flag from a place of worship to an appropriate location. We pride ourselves on our core values of honor, duty and respect. Moving the Naval Jack to another location is consistent with these values and is a model to all of the principled leadership we seek to instill in our cadets and students. It also promotes unity on our campus, in our community and across our state during this time of healing.
-John W. Rosa, Lt Gen (USAF, ret) Citadel President
Statement from Citadel Board of Visitors Chair LTG W. Michael Steele:
I am proud of the action The Citadel Board of Visitors took today. This decision is consistent with our core values of honor, duty and respect. Moving the flag from Summerall Chapel and properly displaying it in an appropriate location honors those who did their duty by serving while respecting the opinion of those who view the flag as divisive.
-W. Michael Steele, LTG (USA, ret) Chair, Citadel Board of Visitors
State Rep. Wendell Gilliard issued this statement:
I was glad that the Citadel took the action today pertaining to the confederate flag inside of the Summerall Chapel. As the state representative for this great and historic institution, I would like to thank the General and all of the board members for what has been done. At the appropriate time, I will ensure that the House and the Senate moves this through the legislative process. I would also like to thank both North Charleston County councilman Henry Darby and former Charleston County Council chairman Teddy Pryor for their hard work in this matter and making it come to fruition. As the late great Dr. Martin Luther King once stated, there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right!