On Friday, South Carolina took its Confederate flag down from the grounds of its State House, where it had flown for more than 50 years.

The New York Times reports:

The flag came down amid heavy security and loud cheers at a Friday morning event that followed days of emotional debate in the State Legislature and, on Thursday, the final approval of Gov. Nikki R. Haley, who had pledged that the symbol would be lowered “with dignity.”

Shielded across the decades by both Democrats and Republicans, the flag left its pole outside the State House only 23 days after nine black churchgoers were killed at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The flag, which flew above the State House before it was moved in 2000 to a spot next to the Confederate Soldier Monument, had long been a subject of deep disagreements and public protests. But it was the June 17 massacre at the church, which the authorities have described as a hate crime, that provoked Ms. Haley and scores of other elected officials in both parties to demand the battle flag’s removal.

The flag will be housed at the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, a state-supported museum near the Capitol, and its pole will be removed from the grounds of the State House.

The Times noted that the removal of the flag did not mean that policy changes resulting in the dignified treatment of black Americans and other minorities were forthcoming from the Republican-dominated state.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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