They finally took that abomination down.
The crowd of hundreds of people that gathered at the South Carolina Capitol grounds for the historic event cheered, chanted and eventually broke out in song, “Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!”
The flag, which South Carolina lawmakers finally resolved to remove after hours of intense and emotional debate, will be taken to a museum “for relics” for exhibition.
President Barack Obama applauded the decision.
South Carolina taking down the confederate flag – a signal of good will and healing, and a meaningful step towards a better future.
— President Obama (@POTUS44) July 10, 2015
South Carolina troopers made quick work of removing the flag, a stark contrast to the emotional debate that took place just a day ago among South Carolina lawmakers, notably Jefferson Davis descendant Jenny Horne, who gave a tearful speech in support of removing the flag on the statehouse floor. The House of Representatives went on to vote 94 to 20 in favor of taking down the flag.
Today, Horne called the victory “bittersweet.”
Taking down the flag isn’t just about racial redemption. As Horne noted in her passionate remarks, removing the Confederate flag comes with economic rewards as well for the state. Cornell William Brooks, NAACP president, said the moment the flag was removed, so would be the organization’s 15-year economic boycott of South Carolina.
Today is also a day to remember the heroes and martyrs who pushed us — and South Carolina — to this moment. From those innocents killed just weeks ago as they worshipped in their church to civil rights activists and other brave Americans like Bree Newsome, who was so sick of looking at that racist flag that she climbed the flagpole herself and took it down. But most of all, today is a victory for everyday folks across South Carolina.
“I am so proud to be a South Carolinian and proud of what South Carolina has done to move this state forward,” Rep. Horne added today. We couldn’t agree more.
Here’s the historic footage of the flag being lowered by a South Carolina Highway Patrol honor guard.