By Ariele Vaccaro
After resounding approval from a number of parties after the lowering of the confederate flag in S.C. on last week Friday, it might seem surprising that it didn’t happen sooner.
In June, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced her call for the flag to be removed from capitol grounds.
State legislature returned briefly into session to vote on the proposal.
Despite hours of controversial debate, the House passed the legislation with overwhelming support – 94 to 20 votes – to take down of the flag.
Rep. Jenny Anderson, a Republican and descendant of a confederate leader according to a July 9 report by National Public Radio, took a hard stance against amending legislation to remove the flag.
“If we amend this bill, we are telling the people of Charleston, ‘We don’t care about you.
We do not care that someone used this symbol of hate to slay [nine] innocent people who were worshiping their God’,” said Anderson. She noted that to allow the flag to fly would be extremely hurtful to Senator Pinkney’s wife and children.
Pinkney was one of the victims killed during the massacre.
Legislation made its way through the Senate, then moved on to Haley’s desk, where the governor signed the document with nine pens dedicated to the victims of the Charleston massacre.
Friday, crowds of both supporters and protesters gathered at the South Carolina statehouse to watch the flag make its way down the mast.
State troopers ritualistically folded the flag while onlookers cheered.
According to a July 10 report by the Wall Street Journal, the flag’s new home will now be the confederate relic room in South Carolina’s state museum.
Heated debate as to the meaning of the flag erupted after the June murder of nine people at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina.
The confederate flag’s significance fell under question after photos of the alleged killer, Dylann Roof, 21, posing with the flag were found on a website containing his own openly racist manifesto.
A number of big name companies, such as Ebay and Walmart, have vowed to pull products sporting the flag from their shelves.
Milwaukee-based company Harley-Davidson released a statement that said it would “closely evaluate” the use of the flag in its products.