"Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye!": The End For The Confederate Flag's Half-century At South Carolina Capitol
It was a regular day and business as usual twenty three days ago at the 150-year-old Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in Charleston, South Carolina as members gathered for the weekly Wednesday Bible study. Since 1816 the church has been a staple in Charleston. The church was burned to the grown and rebuild, destroyed by an earthquake and banned by the state, and persevered through it all, but what happened after a man in his early twenties joined the service has left everyone devastated.
During the Bible study, gunman Dylann Roof showed up an hour early and was apart of the service. It all changed at 9pm when he opened fire at the historic church in a cold-blooded race-hate crime, killing nine people, names and images above. Three male and six females. Making sure that his message of horror was known, he spared a woman life and told her to "Tell the world what happened." A child survived by pretending to be dead and three others.
When Dylann Roof was identified as the killer, images of him holding the conferderate flag while burning the American flag surface shortly. The hateful messages and meaning of the flag existence led to a major argument that the flag should be taken down from the South Carolina state capitol building due to its meaning, but to also honor the lives lost by the sensless act of violence.
The state legislature finalized a bill that ordered the flag removal a day ago. Before this ruling, Gov. Nikki Haley was very instrumental in the decision. She argued for the flag's removal after the Charleston killings and made the announcement during the press conference above. The bill was signed on Thursday. Haley also joined a number of lawmakers on Capitol steps to see Friday's ceremony. Image below.
President Obama released a celebratory statement via Twitter.
50 years after it was raised on state grounds, the Confederate battle flag, a symbol of both racism and southern pride, was removed from the South Carolina state capitol grounds. Crowds gathered to see the historic moment and chanted "Na, Na, Na, Na, Hey, Hey Hey, Goodbye!" The ceremony happened a little after 10am. The flag was then simply folded and placed in an armored vehicle. It will be displayed at the 'relic room' of a military museum in the state capital of Columbia.
America has a long way to go in the healing process, but it has to start somewhere.
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