This morning, thousands gathered outside the South Carolina statehouse to watch as the Confederate flag was lowered and taken down for the last time.
The move comes in the wake of the Charleston shooting, in which nine black church goers were murdered in the state, and a campaign to remove the controversial symbol which many associate with racism.
On Thursday afternoon, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill that ordered the removal of the flag from above the statehouse, where it had flown for more than half a century.
We will bring it down with dignity and we will make sure it is stored in its rightful place.
— Peggy Binette (@PeggyBinette) July 10, 2015
Dylann Roof, the man who was arrested for the Charleston murders, was seen posing alongside the flag in photos that surfaced online alongside his shocking, racist manifesto.
Roof said the massacre was intended to start a race war. Instead, it has only motivated lawmakers to remove a symbol of hate from their state’s capitol grounds.
As the flag was lowered at around 10am today, the assembled crowd cheered and chanted, “Hate put it up, love will bring it down!”
Shortly after the flag was removed, President Obama tweeted his support for the historic move.
South Carolina taking down the confederate flag – a signal of good will and healing, and a meaningful step towards a better future.
— President Obama (@POTUS44) July 10, 2015