A bill taking down the flag and its flagpole from the Capitol’s front lawn passed the South Carolina House early Thursday after 13 hours of debate. It should get to Gov. Nikki Haley before the end of the day and she has promised to sign it quickly.
The bill requires the flag be taken down within 24 hours of her signing and shipped to the Confederate Relic Room.
There were hugs, tears and high fives in the House chamber after the vote. Members who waited decades to see this day snapped selfies and pumped their fists.
But even among the celebrations, there was more than a bit of sadness.
After the Civil War, the flag was first flown over the dome of South Carolina’s Capitol in 1961 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the war. It stayed as a protest to the Civil Rights movement that sought to end discrimination against blacks, only moving in 2000 from the dome to its current location.
The push to remove the flag only started after nine black churchgoers, including state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, were gunned down during Bible study at the historic Emanuel African Episcopal Church in Charleston on June 17. Police said the white gunman’s motivation was racial hatred. Then three days later, photos surfaced of the suspect, Dylann Roof, holding Confederate flags.
“I am 44 years old. I never thought I’d see this moment. I stand with people who never thought they would see this as well,” said House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, who called the victims martyrs.
I’m glad the Confederate flag is coming down in South Carolina. I’m sad it took the deaths of nine innocents to do it.
Let those who want to be stirred up be stirred up. Let them whine, moan and cry like blubbering brats until they have the dry heaves. Let them hold their breaths until they turn blue and die. I am all out of shits to give. No more enabling of a detestable and contemptible symbol of failure, surrender, and bigotry.
The Racist Rabble of the Right are losing their minds. My heritage is under attack! My way of life is under siege! A symbol of pride is being stripped away from me! STFU with that noise! Nobody’s banned the rebel flag. You can still buy it, fly it and wipe your ass with it. The flag remains available if you need proof of how much you hate Black people. Dylann Roof will appreciated your show of Southern pride.
The Confederate flag is still available for anyone who wants one. They can have it in the privacy of their homes, put it on their license plates, wear it on their t-shirts and wave it their Klan rallies. They can’t just have it flying over the South Carolina statehouse. That’s all over. If some sore losers want to go beyond Civil War reenactments to trying to secede again, let ’em whistle “Dixie” and piss up a rope. Pandering to idiots only guarantees more idiocy.
The decision to remove the flag was arrived at through a democratic process where both sides had their opportunity to make their case and win the day. The pro-Confederate flag side lost. Sucks for them. Don’t like the result? Still sucks for them.
I could not care less if that rag becomes more of a rallying point for racists and for those sympathetic to racists. LET THEM. It only makes them easier to identify as the bigots they truly are.
Racism LOST today and it was like Japan vs. the U.S in women’s soccer. It wasn’t even close.
Today was a good day for South Carolina and a better one for America. It took a giant step away from ignorance and intolerance and a giant step toward enlightenment and equality.