I’ll be honest, I really didn’t think when all of this started that South Carolina would actually remove the Confederate flag from the State House grounds. To Gov. Nikki Haley’s credit, when she came out fairly quickly in favor of the idea, it gave me hope that we might actually see this happen.
And now that moment has finally arrived as both the House and Senate in South Carolina have voted in favor of removing the flag from the State House. The actual removal won’t happen until Haley officially signs the bill, which should happen either today or tomorrow.
Following the vote Gov. Haley released a statement:
Today, as the Senate did before them, the House of Representatives has served the State of South Carolina and her people with great dignity. I’m grateful for their service and their compassion. It is a new day in South Carolina, a day we can all be proud of, a day that truly brings us all together as we continue to heal, as one people and one state.
I’ll give credit where credit is due and say Gov. Haley’s quick decision to call for the removal of the flag after the shooting might be what led to the flag’s eventual downfall. While I don’t agree with her on much, when it came to this issue she did the right thing.
With that said, I think we should all take a moment to celebrate this news as it’s long overdue. A flag that was raised above the capitol to symbolize the state’s stance against giving African-Americans civil rights (oh, but please tell me again how the flag doesn’t represent racism) will finally be removed from a place it never should have flown in the first place.
While this is basically just a symbolic gesture, it still represents a victory for those of us who were disgusted to see a flag that represents slavery, treason and racism flying over one of our states 150 years after the Civil War ended, and it represents a start to a healing process that’s long overdue.
For far too long the Civil War has been romanticized in the South. Then again, for nearly a century after the war ended, these former Confederate states segregated African-Americans and often used the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of their “Southern pride” against racial equality. Which, like I said earlier, is why the flag flew over South Carolina in the first place.
And while I’m sure bigots, racists and fools who don’t know history all across the country are irate at the fact that a treasonous flag will no longer fly over South Carolina’s State House grounds, history will look back upon those people with shame because of the ignorance they seem so proud to show off.
As for the rest of us, while it’s mostly symbolic, the Confederate flag being removed from the South Carolina State House grounds represents a moment in our nation where the resolve of those who stood against a symbol of oppression, slavery, racism and intolerance emerged triumphantly – just like it did in 1865, 1964 and 1967.