COLUMBIA, S.C. – This morning the Confederate battle flag was lowered and removed from in front of the S.C. statehouse after flying there for more than fifty years. Governor Nikki Haley signed the bill ordering its removal that was passed by the General Assembly earlier this week. The flag was taken down by the State Highway Patrol honor guard in a brief ceremony that ended with Haley receiving the flag for retirement to the state Confederate Relic Room. It will be preserved in a new display that the legislation required be built.
A group that had been protesting the flag for the last several days yelled “hey, hey, hey, goodbye” from the sidelines as it descended the flagpole. The flagpole is also to be removed at a later date.
The S.C. Sons of the Confederate Veterans, a group that fought to keep it as a honor to the state’s Confederate dead, was not visibly present. They reportedly said they were asked not to participate, but also said that they did not want to witness it, viewing it as a dishonor to their ancestors who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.