Washington, D.C.— Congressman Tom Rice (SC-07) today released the following statement calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House grounds:

“I was born in South Carolina.  My family and Wrenzie's have lived here for seven generations and over 200 years.  At least two of my ancestors fought in the Civil War.

“Wrenzie and I have lived our lives in South Carolina.  We raised our family right here.  I know it's history.  We aren't perfect, nobody is, but I'm proud of my South Carolina roots, and would never leave here.

“Yesterday our Governor called to ask that I stand with her, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, U.S. Representatives James Clyburn and Mark Sanford, and other elected officials to ask the state legislature to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State House.  This was not an easy decision.  The flag is an important part of our history, and is revered by many as a symbol of honor and sacrifice.

“But to many South Carolinians it is a symbol of division and hate.  Hate groups have co-opted the flag as a symbol of their movement.  Horrific crimes have been committed by madmen wrapped in the Confederate flag.

“The Confederate flag will always have a place in our history, but in my opinion, that place should be an honored area in a museum.  Not on the grounds of our State House.”