The Confederate flag is no longer flying at the State House, the first time in 54 years some version of that banner hasn’t been hoisted above the capitol.
A South Carolina Department of Public Safety honor guard drew down the banner at 10:09 a.m. Friday in a subdued but dignified ceremony. It was then taken to the Confederate Relic Room, a museum about a mile from the State House on Gervais Street.
As it came down, some members of the crowd could be heard shouting “bye bye flag” and signing “We Shall Overcome.”
Moments after the flag was removed, President Barack Obama tweeted, “South Carolina taking down the Confederate flag- a signal of good will and healing, and a meaningful step towards a better future.”
The area around the monument where the flag had flown had been roped off and barricaded the previous day, and streets around the capitol were closed as the ceremony took place.
Thousands of people, both for and against the flag, lined the area around the capitol to get a glimpse of this moment in history. Some were dressed in full Confederate soldier regalia; one woman wore a 19-century black dress in mourning. Many held signs supporting the flag’s takedown, and waved American flags as the standard was removed.
Read more: wltx.com