The Slatest

Sick of Waiting, South Carolina Activist Takes Down Confederate Flag

The Confederate flag flies on the Capitol grounds one day after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced that she will call for the Confederate flag to be removed on June 23, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Early this morning, South Carolina activist Bree Newsome scaled the flagpole outside the statehouse in Columbia where the Confederate battle flag was still flying and took it down herself:

While Republican governor Nikki Haley had called for the flag to come down and the South Carolina House of Representatives had agreed to discuss the matter, Newsome didn’t think this was the sort of thing that should be taken care of at the government’s glacial pace:

“We can’t wait any longer,” Newsome said in a statement regarding the motivation behind her decision to remove the flag herself. “We can’t continue like this another day. It’s time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality.”

The action was apparently timed to ensure that a rally at the statehouse by advocates of the Confederate flag, scheduled for later this morning, would have no flag to support. Newsome was promptly arrested and the flag was re-raised in accordance with state law. The hashtags #KeepitDown and #FreeBree began circulating shortly after word of her civil disobedience got out and were among the top-trending topics on Twitter Saturday morning: