Well – the Confederate flag will no longer fly outside the state house in Columbia, SC. It was taken down in what was repeatedly referred to as a “small dignified ceremony” in front a large crowd of citizens, lawmakers and the families of 9 souls killed in the name of hatred in Charleston, SC. just a few weeks ago.
I wasn’t going to write anything about this symbolic moment, but I was so struck today by the aforementioned “small dignified ceremony” that I realized I did indeed have something to say. So I wrote a little something about it, want to read it? Here it go…
Let’s back up a bit and go through the history of THIS flag at THIS location in THIS state.
This Confederate flag was placed in front of the Columbia, SC Statehouse on April 11, 1961 as part of the Centennial celebration of the firing on Fort Sumter, which opened the Civil War. It became a formal figure above the Statehouse on March 16, 1962 when lawmakers approved a measure to make it’s place permanent.
A few months before the flag was raised that first time, a groups of black students who would become known as The Friendship Nine were arrested and convicted the following day for refusing to leave an all-white lunch country in Rock Hill, SC. These students refused bail and spent 30 days doing hard labor at a County Prison Farm – meanwhile the lunch-counter & jail-not-bail protest model spread across the South. It was widely know that SC Rep John A May who requested the flag be flown did so in direct response to the actions of the Friendship Nine.
Who were the Friendship Nine?