Church removes Confederate battle flags from grounds

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) - Officials say the Parish Church of St. Helena will replace Confederate battle flags decorating soldiers' graves in response to last week's massacre in Charleston.

The Beaufort Gazette ( ) reports Reverend Jeffrey Miller wrote in a newsletter Wednesday the battle flags in the historic Beaufort church's graveyard will be replaced by the first national Confederate flags. Miller says battle flags have adorned the graves of Confederate soldiers to honor the Civil War veterans, but after the events in Charleston, that flag's purpose could be misunderstood.

Miller said Thursday that about 70 battle flags were removed. Replacement flags for the gravestones still need to be purchased.

Miller says the Confederate flags were never placed there to praise the Confederacy or make a political statement.

Information from: The Beaufort Gazette,

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