COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina House of Representatives voted 94-20 to remove the Confederate battle flag from public spaces including state Capitol grounds.
Governor Nikki Haley is expected to sign the bill into law later today.
The NAACP has released the following statement in response:
By President Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO:
"The NAACP applauds the South Carolina legislature for voting to remove the Confederate Battle flag – one of the longest standing symbols of hatred and exclusion -- from public spaces and state grounds today. The confederate battle flag as a symbolic stain of racism has been dismissed from the state capital grounds and may now be deposited to a museum. This flag should be studied and no longer honored. This legislative decision affirms the 15 years of collective advocacy of the NAACP on both the national and state level to bring down the flag, in particular our 15 year economic boycott of the state that was joined by the NCAA and UAW. As we head to Philadelphia for our 106th Annual Convention this Saturday, we can now consider an emergency resolution to lift the economic boycott of the state. Today, South Carolina ushers the state and our country into a new era -- one of unity and inclusion at a time of such profound tragedy. By removing the flag, South Carolina not only denounces an odious emblem of a bygone era but also honors the lives of nine students of scripture who were gunned down in a church, including that of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the former South Carolina state senator. We applaud Governor Nikki Haley for her leadership and moral courage by changing her position and supporting the flag removal in the aftermath of tragedy. This decision will make South Carolina more welcoming and affirming of all people irrespective of their skin color."
By Dr. Lonnie Randolph, NAACP South Carolina State Conference President:
"Today, the South Carolina legislature did the right thing—one that is profoundly American – by taking down the Confederate battle flag. I applaud South Carolina state senators, members of the House of Representatives and Governor Nikki Haley for their commitment and support to the citizens of South Carolina and the citizens of this country. Fifteen years ago, the NAACP launched longstanding boycott against the state until the battle flag came down."