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It's a new era under one flag at the S.C. State House

Confederate flag removed and taken to museum

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Friday, July 10, 2015

Enlarge photo

The Confederate flag was lowered and removed from the South Carolina State House grounds first time after five decades.
 
 
 

Julie McCombs

The Confederate flag was lowered and removed from the South Carolina State House grounds first time after five decades.

 

 

 



Enlarge photo

Lt. Derrick Gamble, of the South Carolina Highway Patrol Honor Guard, takes the folded and rolled up 4-foot flag to Allen Roberson, director of the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum.
 

Julie McCombs

Lt. Derrick Gamble, of the South Carolina Highway Patrol Honor Guard, takes the folded and rolled up 4-foot flag to Allen Roberson, director of the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum.

 



Enlarge photo

A calm crowd of thousands watched the approximately nine-minute ceremony.
 

Julie McCombs

A calm crowd of thousands watched the approximately nine-minute ceremony.

 



Enlarge photo

Gov. Nikki Haley was at the center of the movement calling for removal of the Confederate flag from the State House grounds.
 
 
 

Julie McCombs

Gov. Nikki Haley was at the center of the movement calling for removal of the Confederate flag from the State House grounds.

 

 

 



• Photo gallery.

• Councilman Lee Dumas

• It's history. 

• Solemn setting

On a hot, steamy day in Columbia, the Confederate flag left the South Carolina State House grounds after five decades.

“It is a new day in South Carolina, a day we can all be proud of, a day that truly brings us all together as we continue to heal, as one people and one state,” Gov. Nikki Haley said in a Facebook post. She did not speak at the ceremony, which attracted thousands.

Haley signed the order Thursday afternoon after the House overwhelmingly approved a bill to remove the Civil War icon. The House gave final approval to the final two readings of the bill within minutes of each other at 1 a.m. Thursday. The Senate approved removing the flag on Tuesday.

Haley said she would give pens used to sign the bill to families of the Emanuel AME church victims.

Haley started the call for removing the flag in the days after nine African-Americans were shot and killed in the historic Charleston church last month.

A van took the flag to the nearby Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, which Haley called "its rightful place."

"No one should drive by the State House and feel pain. No one should drive by the State House and feel like they don't belong," she told TODAY on NBC Friday morning.

Eventually, the flagpole itself is to be torn down as well, but there is no timetable for that.

The mood outside the State House was one of solemn respectfulness.

As 10 a.m. drew near, the appointed time for the Confederate flag to be removed, many in the crowd began to stir in anticipation.  Some chanted, some prayed and sang, while others waited quietly and unsure of what to expect.

Then, at 10:09, most of the crowd of nearly estimated 12,000 erupted in cheers as the flag began its final descent, which has been anchored in front of the State House for the past 15 years. 

"It's sad that nine people had to die for them to make a change,” Ernest Lee, a Charleston native, said. “They should have brought it down sooner.  It should have never been up.  It should be in a museum.  Had they done that I don't think any of this would be going on."

Garrett Mitchell reported from Columbia.

 

 

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