SC Gov. signs bill to remove Confederate flag from capitol

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signs a bill into law as former South Carolina governors and officials look on Thursday, July 9, 2015, at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. The law enables the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds more than 50 years after the rebel banner was raised to protest the civil rights movement. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(NEWS2) – More than 50 years after South Carolina raised a Confederate flag at its Statehouse to protest the civil rights movement, the state is getting ready to remove the rebel banner.

A bill pulling down the flag from the SC Statehouse’s front lawn and the flagpole it flies on passed the South Carolina House shortly after 1:00am on Thursday morning. Later that day, the bill was placed on Governor Nikki Haley’s desk for her to sign it.

At approximately 4:19 p.m., the Governor signed the bill to remove the Confederate Flag from the South Carolina Statehouse. The bill requires the flag be taken down within 24 hours of her pen hitting the paper and shipped to the Confederate Relic Room.

When Governor Nikki Haley signed the bill, she said “I am honored to be surrounded by the family members of the nine Charleston Church Shooting victims.”

The Governor issued her own statement after the House approved the bill to remove the Confederate Flag. “It is a new day in South Carolina, a day we can all be proud of, a day that truly brings us all together as we continue to heal, as one people and on,” she said.

Just after the bill was passed early Thursday morning, Governor Nikki Haley took to facebook to post this statement. She said “Today, as the Senate did before them, the House of Representatives has served the State of South Carolina and her people with great dignity. I’m grateful for their service and their compassion. It is a new day in South Carolina, a day we can all be proud of, a day that truly brings us all together as we continue to heal, as one people and one state.”

Following the signing of the bill the NCAA released the following statement:

We commend South Carolina lawmakers for taking this action to remove the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds. For nearly 15 years we have specifically protested the flag by not allowing states like South Carolina to host pre-selected NCAA championships.  With this impending change, and consistent with our policy, South Carolina may bid to host future NCAA championships once the flag no longer flies at the State House grounds.”  

– Kirk Schulz, NCAA Board of Governors chair and Kansas State University president

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