The Confederate flag was taken down from the South Carolina statehouse by a woman who apparently felt the state’s legislature wasn’t working fast enough. Reports began surfacing early Saturday morning that an unnamed black woman and a male compatriot took it upon themselves to remove the Confederate flag from the pole that sits in front of the Statehouse building.
After the woman climbed about halfway up the pole in order to get the Confederate flag, local police noticed her and ordered her to come down. The Associated Press reports that after she was ordered to stop going after the Confederate flag, she instead went the other direction. She continued going after the Confederate flag and took it down. Both the woman and the man who had entered the area housing the Confederate flag were arrested shortly after she returned to the ground.
As is the case when talking about removing something like the flag, it simply isn’t as easy as just putting the flag back up. Most states, as well as the country, have very specific ways in which they are allowed to handle these flags — Confederate or not — because they are symbols rather than pieces of highly decorated cloth. Eventually, the situation was completely reversed as authorities followed the protocols in order to get it back up.
The reason it was put back up after being taken down, despite the fact that a vast majority of citizens want it down, is that it is protected by state law. This is also why the legislature has been attempting to go through the process legislatively. The South Carolina Heritage Act is the reason the state is having problems bringing a symbol that many are characterizing as illegal down from the pole. Despite the woman’s attempts to get the Confederate flag down, the longer it takes to do it through official channels, the less likely it is that it will be taken down at all.
Governor Nikki Haley is just one of several prominent voices to call for the removal of the Confederate flag, suggesting that it be moved to a museum. Other people, including Jon Stewart, have suggested the state should perhaps come up with a new symbol in order to replace the one they currently have. The comedian joked it might be easier if there was a replacement ready to go. While the woman’s attempt to remove the Confederate flag was successful for a few minutes, it shows just how aggravating the symbol is to some people in the state.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]