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South Carolina lowers confederate flag, ends civil war

People cheered and sang, lawmakers shook hands and hugged and a few TV anchors teared up on camera as the flag, a symbol of white supremacy, was brought down, folded and taken away in a short ceremony. The flag will be kept in the state’s military museum.

world Updated: Jul 10, 2015 21:04 IST
Yashwant Raj
The Confederate battle flag flies on its last full day at the South Carolina state house on July 9, South Carolina. Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill removing the Confederate battle flag from the state house grounds on Thursday afternoon. (AFP)
The Confederate battle flag flies on its last full day at the South Carolina state house on July 9, South Carolina. Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill removing the Confederate battle flag from the state house grounds on Thursday afternoon. (AFP)

For some people in South Carolina, the civil war ended on Friday morning, 150 years after it actually did with the ceremonial lowering of a confederate flag on statehouse ground.

People cheered and sang, lawmakers shook hands and hugged and a few TV anchors teared up on camera as the flag was brought down, folded and taken away in a short ceremony.

Sitting miles away, President Barack Obama tweeted,

His deputy, Joe Biden, followed up:

The flag was used by the Confederate Army of southern states that had rebelled against the abolition of slavery starting the civil war that lasted four years from 1861 to 1865. But this flag was hoisted on South Carolina’s statehouse ground in 1961 in opposition to the civil rights movement, and had stayed there since defying all attempts to remove it.

Read: Heritage or hate: The history of the US Confederate Flag

Dylann Storm Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist, ended the debate when he gunned down nine worshippers at a historically African-American church after praying with them for an hour.

In pictures that surfaced after the massacre, Roof was seen posing with the confederate flag. A horrified nation demanded its removal, and governor Nikki Haley led the call in the state.

She had earlier — till last year — resisted moved to bring it down, siding with those, mostly Republicans like herself, who argued it was a part of the state’s history.

South Carolina has been historically slow to accept full integration. It was the last state, of instance, to recognize Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday, in 2000.

The flag will be kept in the state’s military museum.

Also read:South Carolina to get rid of 'racist' Confederate flag