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Confederate Flag Sparks Discussion About Controversial Symbols In San Diego

Photo caption: Workers raise the flag at a Confederate monument in front of the Statehouse i...

Photo credit: Associated Press

Workers raise the flag at a Confederate monument in front of the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. Saturday, June, 27, 2015.

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The debate over whether to remove the Confederate flag from civic spaces is reverberating across the country, including in San Diego.

The South Carolina Senate gave final approval Tuesday to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse. The measure now moves on to the state Assembly.

This action follows the killing of nine African-American men and women at the Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 19. The man accused of shooting them was photographed several times holding a Confederate flag.

Several Southern states are now engaged in a debate about symbols, heritage and human dignity. The move in South Carolina also has San Diegans talking.

“It’s a teachable moment,” Ashley Virtue told KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday. She is the director of external relations at National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego. “We encourage people to look very hard at what the symbol is and have a deeper conversation. What is the ongoing repercussion of this conversation?”

Aaron Bruce, chief diversity officer at San Diego State University, said the actions in South Carolina allow people to talk about these types of symbols.

“How do we come together to understand the other view and explore what that really means not just from a legal perspective but from a humanity perspective?” Bruce said. “It’s important as we move forward that we’re taking individuals into consideration.”

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