The Slatest

“I Am Not Proud of This Heritage,” Strom Thurmond’s Son Says of Confederate Flag

Paul Thurmond, second from left, at Strom Thurmond’s funeral.

Blake Sell

Strom Thurmond was a South Carolina senator who ran for president on a pro-segregation platform, said Martin Luther King Jr. “demeans his race,” and once announced that “there’s not enough troops in the Army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the Nigra race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.” He fathered a daughter with a black housekeeper, didn’t meet her until she was 16, and never publicly acknowledged her. There was a Confederate flag at his funeral—you can see it above next to his son Paul.

Paul Thurmond is now a Republican South Carolina state senator, and has announced that he will vote to remove the flag from the grounds of the state Capitol.

“Our ancestors were literally fighting to keep human beings as slaves, and to continue the unimaginable acts that occur when someone is held against their will,” said State Senator Paul Thurmond, a Republican, explaining that he would vote to remove the flag.

“I am not proud of this heritage,” said Mr. Thurmond.


“We must take down the Confederate flag and we must take it down now. But if we stop there, we have cheated ourselves out of an opportunity to start a different conversation about healing in our state,” Thurmond continued. “I am ready.”