Activist Climbs Flagpole To Remove Confederate Flag From SC Capitol

Activist Climbs Flagpole To Remove Confederate Flag From SC Capitol

Early Saturday morning, Bree Newsome, 30, scaled the flagpole where the Confederate flag flew on South Carolina’s Capitol grounds and removed the flag herself.

Newsome climbed the flag pole at approximately 6:30 a.m. in Columbia, S.C. She was about halfway up the more than 30-foot steel flagpole when State Capitol police told her to come down, but she instead continued up and removed the flag before returning to the ground.

Bree Newsome. This activist climbs flagpole to remove confederate flag from South Carolina Capitol building.

Bree Newsome being arrested after taking down the Confederate Flag from the SC Capitol building. (Image source: The Charlotte Observer)

Newsome, who is black, was immediately arrested when she climbed back to the ground, along with another man who had entered the wrought-iron fence surrounding the flag. She and the other man were immediately released on bail.

State employees replaced the Confederate flag, which is protected by state law, by 11am — right before a rally by flag supporters was scheduled.

“We removed the flag today because we can’t wait any longer,” Newsome said in a press release sent to the Guardian. “It’s time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality.”

The issue of the Confederate flag has been an highly controversial topic throughout the South over the past week after a 21-year-old gunned down 9 people in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina in an attempt to start a race war.

South Carolina’s state legislature voted to discuss whether or not to remove the flag, but until then it is still to remain on Capitol grounds above a Confederate war memorial.

Some people are vehemently protesting calls for the flag’s removal, saying it represents Southern heritage, not racism.

Others, however, clearly disagree. One person even called the Confederate Flag an “American swastika.”

Tamika Lewis, a member of the citizens group that planned the flag removal and calls themselves “concerned citizens,” said she had hoped her organization’s action would prompt state leaders to keep the flag down, saying, “We did not expect that it would be raised again.”

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