Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton heralded South Carolina's vote to remove the Confederate flag from State House grounds, but in a statement did not apologize for her own use and support of the flag in past years.

In her statement issued Thursday morning, Clinton said:

"Removing this symbol of our nation's racist past is an important step towards equality and civil rights in America. The flag may soon no longer fly at the State Capitol, but there is still unfinished business in confronting and acting on the inequalities that still exist in our country. We can't hide from the hard truths about race and justice. We must do everything in our power to have the courage to name them and change them."

It did not include any mention or apology for the Clinton family's support of the flag and even use of the image on past campaign materials, however. In Arkansas, where Bill Clinton was governor and Hillary Clinton first lady, the state flag borrows from the Confederate flag.

When the issue flared up, long-time Clinton ally Paul Begala told CNN that she would have to address her past support of the symbol.

CNN noted Clinton's distancing from the flag in 2007, but asked, "Does she have to answer for her time as first lady in Arkansas with Bill standing by the Arkansas flag proudly when it too is said to borrow from the Confederate symbology?"

Answered Begala, "Sure, absolutely, times change."

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at