South Carolina governor signs flag bill removing Confederate flag
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina's governor has signed a bill to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, more than 50 years after it was raised in protest of the civil rights movement.
Gov. Nikki Haley signed the bill Thursday on the second floor of the Statehouse, where through a window the secessionist battle flag was visible outside. She was surrounded by the family members of those killed in the church shooting last month.
The law requires the flag to be removed and placed in the state's Confederate Relic Room. Haley says it will come down at 10 a.m. Friday.
The push to bring down the flag began after state Sen. Clementa Pinckney and eight other people were gunned down during their Bible study inside a historic black church. Police said it was racially motivated, and photographs emerged showing the suspect posing with Confederate flags.
The Confederate flag has flown on the Statehouse grounds for 54 years since being put up as a protest of the Civil Rights movement.
Haley and other conservatives didn't begin a push to remove the flag until nine black churchgoers were killed in a church shooting in Charleston by a gunman who police say was motivated by racial hatred.