COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A black South Carolina state senator says African-Americans should take part in celebrating events surrounding the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Democratic Sen. Robert Ford of Charleston stepped to the Senate podium on Thursday with a Confederate flag in hand.
He said South Carolinians are going to see a lot of those flags over the next four years. He says African-Americans can celebrate that the war brought freedom from slavery.
The war started in the Charleston Harbor on April 12, 1861. Activities are planned next week around that milestone anniversary. An earlier event in the city commemorated the state's secession from the union and drew criticism from civil rights groups.
Ford says he wants people to embrace their heritage and honor ancestors who died.