Kit Steinkellner
June 27, 2015 12:59 pm

The Confederate flag has long been defended by those that wave it as a symbol of heritage, and has long been denounced by those that oppose the flag as a symbol of hatred. In the wake of the Charleston church shooting, a crime committed by a young white man against the black community, an act of terrorism fueled by bigotry, the debate is once again at the forefront of the national conversation.

The governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, called last week for the removal of the Confederate flag from State Capitol grounds.

“Today we are here in a moment of unity in our state, without ill will, to say it’s time to move the flag from the capitol grounds,” Haley declared. In the same speech, Haley labeled the flag “a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally offensive past.”

Yet, a week later, the Confederate flag still flew above the state capitol. Though Haley called for the flag’s removal, it was uncertain whether the legislature would approve this decision. It would take a two-thirds majority in both chambers to ensure the flag was removed. So one brave young woman took matters into her own hands, and this morning Brittany “Bree” Newsome, an activist from North Carolina, scaled the South Carolina Statehouse flagpole on Saturday morning and removed the Confederate flag. Newsroom was arrested by the State Capitol police shortly thereafter, and the flag was replaced and re-raised, but her courageous actions have inspired  so many, and the hashtags #FreeBree is, as of this writing, the top-trending hashtag on Twitter, with related hashtag #KeepItDown also trending high.

We are in awe of Bree’s courage of conviction and are amazed that this young activist has risked so much to take a stand against bigotry. This historic moment was recorded, watch the powerful act below.

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