When I visited Columbia, South Carolina, this past April, I couldn’t help but notice the Confederate flag flying high on the grounds of the South Carolina State House. I even remember remarking to my 13-year-old daughter that it must still play a prominent part in Southern Civil War history and culture. At 10 am on July 10, 2015, the Confederate flag was taken down in an official flag removal ceremony from the grounds of the State House and was meet with peaceful cheers and chants.
After a passionate 12-hour debate in the House earlier this week, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed the legislation and vowed to “bring it down with dignity.”
With cheers and chants of “Take it down!” the flag’s official ceremony was viewed peacefully by thousands of onlookers who flocked to the area around the State House for a glimpse of the poignant event in South Carolina state history. Millions more watched via live television feeds. The ceremony comes on the heels of Charleston, South Carolina, being named one of the world’s 10 best cities by Travel + Leisure magazine. Taking down the flag ensure the state is even more welcoming to all of its residents and visitors.
Flying since the 1960’s at the height of the United States Civil Rights Movement, the flag has been flying on the South Columbia State House grounds for more than 50 years. The flag was moved from the prominent Dome of the StateHouse to the Confederate Memorial in 2000.
As of today, the flag has a new home: the Relic Room at the State House. There it will be displayed alongside other Civil War Confederate Soldier artifacts.