The Confederate battle flag was lowered from its pole at the South Carolina state capitol and moved to a museum just over three weeks after nine worshippers died in the Charleston church massacre.
The ceremonial lowering of the rebel banner removes a controversial symbol of the old South which was appropriates in the 20th century by racist groups. Although civil rights groups have boycotted South Carolina for years because of the decision to fly it on the capitol grounds, it was the June 17, 2015 attack on Emanuel AME Church that led to the governor and legislature to decide to take it down.
The solemnity of Friday's ceremony, which include state troopers respectfully lowering and folding the flag, struck activist Bree Newsome as inappropriate. Newsome is the woman who climbed the pole two weeks earlier to cut it down, resulting in criminal charges against her.
"Are they burying a U.S. soldier or removing a flag of treason, hate & terrorism? I can't tell," she tweeted
Are they burying a U.S. soldier or removing a flag of treason, hate & terrorism? I can't tell.-- Bree Newsome (@BreeNewsome) July 10, 2015
Love and hate for the flag is not a simple topic. CNN reporter Nick Valencia tweeted a photo of an African-American dressed as a Confederate soldier and bearing a Confederate flag. He tweeted "supporter turns his back to the removal ceremony at the state grounds in South Carolina."
The flag will be on display just down the street from the capitol in the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum in Columbia.
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