In a short, historic ceremony on Friday morning, the Confederate battle flag was finally lowered and removed from South Carolina’s statehouse grounds, three weeks after nine black parishioners were murdered at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church. The removal comes more than 50 years after the state first raised the battle flag to protest the civil rights movement.
The removal of the flag, which quickly emerged as a national issue following last month’s massacre, was met largely with praise during Friday’s brief ceremony, where chants of “take it down” could be heard, though protestors were also present.
Crowd goes wild as the #ConfederateFlag is lowered pic.twitter.com/0J5kbJCMnQ
— Cynthia Roldan (@CynthiaRoldan) July 10, 2015
People have gathered at the balcony of an office building across the street to watch the #ConfederateFlag go down. pic.twitter.com/l7U5kKiNoG
— Deanna Pan (@DDpan) July 10, 2015
On Thursday, Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill into law calling for the flag’s removal.
“Twenty-two days ago, I didn’t know that I would ever be able to say this again, but today, I am very proud to say that it is a great day in South Carolina,” she said during the bill’s signing ceremony, where family members of the people killed in Charleston were in attendance.
.@nikkihaley talks grace, forgiveness, compassion and motivation before signing the #ConfederateFlag removal bill http://t.co/XczCSo7lnC
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 9, 2015
South Carolina’s House of Representatives voted to take it down on Thursday by a 94-20 vote.