Episcopals struggle with history of Confederate symbols

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Churches are among institutions wrestling with Confederate symbols and imagery in a national debate that follows recent eruptions of violence.

It's in part the continuation of a conversation sparked when self-avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine African-American parishioners during a Bible study at Charleston, South Carolina, church in 2015. Roof was seen brandishing a Confederate flag in photographs that surfaced after his arrest.

Many churches date to Civil War times and beyond and found themselves on the side of the pro-slavery South when their sons marched off to war. The war ended, as did slavery -- but not the racism.

Now, houses of worship nationwide are grappling with the question of what to do with emblems dotting their parishes memorializing the former slaveholding states and their battle heroes.

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