The Confederate battle flag, a source of pride to some South Carolinians and racism to others, flew on the State House grounds for 53 years until a national tragedy struck in 2015.
The Civil War banner was atop the State House for 38 years before lawmakers reached a compromise in 2000 and moved the flag to the Confederate Soldier Monument, on the capitol grounds at Gervais and Main streets.
After an avowed white supremacist was charged in the killings of nine African-American parishioners at a Charleston church in June, Gov. Nikki Haley called for the Confederate flag’s removal.
“We are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer,” she said while acknowledging the “flag will always be a part of the soil of South Carolina.”
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State lawmakers agreed to her request after some contentious debate. The flag came down for the final time on July 10 in a ceremony attended by 10,000 people, some who protested and many who cheered.
The flag was sent to the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, which will display it as part of the agreement to remove the banner from the State House grounds.
About this series: The inaugural edition of The State newspaper was published Feb. 18, 1891. In anticipation of the 125th anniversary, the Palmetto section and this section at thestate.com are recounting each day how The State covered newsmakers and events vital to South Carolina’s history.