South Carolina removes Confederate flag from statehouse grounds

The flag came down amid heavy security and loud cheers at a Friday morning event that followed days of emotional debate in the State Legislature and, on Thursday, the final approval of Gov. Nikki R. Haley, who had pledged that the symbol would be lowered “with dignity.”…

Scores of people gathered Friday morning near the flag, which the authorities barricaded on Thursday afternoon. Some stood with signs or shirts opposing the flag. Some waited through the morning heat in lawn chairs they brought from home.

“I thought about all of the African-Americans that lost their lives because of the flag, because of the hatred that this flag symbolizes,” said Theresa Burgess, a 48-year-old kindergarten teacher from Florence County who arrived at the State House a little after 6 a.m. “I knew that a lot of Americans would have loved to be here today.”