South Carolina lowers Confederate battle flag, lifts spirits at state capitol

South Carolina lowers Confederate battle flag, lifts spirits at state capitol

The Confederate battle flag was lowered from South Carolina statehouse grounds Friday morning, marking the end of a fierce debate over the Civil War-era symbol that alleged white supremacist, mass-murderer Dylann Roof wore and revered.

Roof has been accused of shooting and killing nine churchgoers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston last month.

For some, the Confederate flag represents heritage and history. For others, it represents hatred and violence.

The South Carolina State Capitol took center stage in the weeks following the attack. As lawmakers considered legislation to remove the flag, protesters and supporters flocked to the pole outside. At one point, an activist climbed up the pole to remove it herself, only to be cuffed and to see the flag re-hoisted.

On Thursday, after a 15-hour legislative showdown, the South Carolina House voted 94 to 20 to remove the flag. The bill had already coasted through the Senate. Lawmakers and Governor Nikki Haley were eager to sign the bill into law.

The flag came down at 10 a.m. this morning.

Here in Colorado, white supremacist symbols at our own state capitol in Denver also came under fire after the Charleston shooting.


Photo of SC state capitol by eyeliam, Creative Commons, via Flickr

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About the Author

Nat Stein

Nat Stein is a Denver-based reporter. Check out her other work at Cipher magazine, KRCC public radio, Jacobin magazine and In These Times.

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