Thursday, December 2, 2021

Good Riddance: Confederate Flag Removed from S.C. Statehouse Amid Cheers (Watch)

A crowd cheers as a South Carolina state police honor guard lowers the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds on July 10, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.
A crowd cheers as a South Carolina state police honor guard lowers the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds on July 10, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.

*The Confederate flag was lowered and taken away from the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse to the cheers of thousands on Friday, ending its 54-year presence there since it was raised in defiance of the civil rights movement.

The crowd chanted “USA” and “na, na, na, na…hey, hey, hey, goodbye” as the flag was swiftly lowered by an honor guard of South Carolina troopers during a 6-minute ceremony.

Renewed calls to remove Confederate flags and symbols across the South and around the nation were sparked by the June 17 massacre of nine black parishioners — including a state senator — at Charleston’s Emanuel AME church during a Bible study. Dylann Roof, a white man who was photographed with the Confederate flag, is charged in the shooting deaths, and authorities have called the killings a hate crime.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley hugs Rev. Norvel Goff, interim pastor at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, before an honor guard from the South Carolina Highway Patrol removed the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds, Friday, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, South Carolina
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley hugs Rev. Norvel Goff, interim pastor at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, before an honor guard from the South Carolina Highway Patrol removed the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds, Friday, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, South Carolina

Gov. Nikki Haley stood on the Statehouse steps alongside legislators and watched as the Confederate flag was lowered. She supported its presence before the shooting, but the Republican had a change of heart in the days after the killings, urging legislators to pass a bill she could sign bringing the flag down before the end of the summer. She signed the legislation Thursday.

An honor guard from the South Carolina Highway patrol removes the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds Friday, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C
An honor guard from the South Carolina Highway patrol removes the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds Friday, July 10, 2015, in Columbia, S.C

Once the flag was lowered, two troopers rolled the flag and tied it up with a string. They handed it to a black trooper who brought it to the Statehouse steps. When the trooper handed it to a state archivist, the governor clapped.

President Barack Obama tweeted minutes after the flag was down, saying it was “a sign of good will and healing and a meaningful step towards a better future.” Obama delivered a eulogy at the funeral for state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who was also pastor of the church where the killings took place.

The honor guard who took the flag down was the same group of men who carried Pinckney’s coffin into the Statehouse for a viewing last month.

A van was to take the flag to the nearby Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum. There, it eventually will be housed in a multimillion-dollar shrine lawmakers promised to build as part of a deal to get a bill passed removing the flag.

It's gone.
It’s gone.

South Carolina’s leaders first flew the battle flag over the Statehouse dome in 1961 to mark the centennial anniversary of the Civil War. It remained there to represent official opposition to the civil rights movement.

Decades later, mass protests against the flag by those who said it was a symbol of racism and white supremacy led to a compromise in 2000 with lawmakers who insisted that it symbolized Southern heritage and states’ rights. The two sides came to an agreement to move the flag from the dome to a 30-foot pole next to a Confederate monument in front of the Statehouse.

Many thought it would stay there. Now, even that flagpole will be torn down. No timetable was set on that.

Watch the entire flag removal ceremony below:

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Good, great! But if the laws & action from the reps of that state continue to “be against the people”?, this is merely…”window dressing” & a GD…photo op! For if the future POV/attitude against Blacks having fair/equal voting rights, & the present “gun laws”, doesn’t reflect “true change” in these politician’s actions/voting??, today was simply a mockery OF those 9 people, who lost their lives, at the hands of someone who thought AND “acted”!!,….just like “them”. TJBT!

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