Tremendous news: As of this morning, the Confederate flag has been removed from the South Carolina Capitol once and for all. The South Carolina Legislature passed a bill late Wednesday night to take down the Confederate flag from the state Capitol and Governor Nikki Haley signed it yesterday at 4 p.m.
This is what MoveOn members have been working for since the massacre at Mother Emanuel AME—and what many, many people have worked for since long before then.
The Confederate flag is a symbol of racism and white supremacy—which any real interrogation of history shows. Its official presence at institutions purporting to represent and serve the American people is more than inappropriate—it's painful, it's offensive, and it's an insult.
On the cusp of victory, MoveOn and ColorOfChange members gathered outside the state Capitol in South Carolina on Tuesday to deliver our petition with more than 571,000 signatures calling for the flag to come down. We sent one, big, final reminder to South Carolina's legislators and governor that the nation was watching.
The arc of change is long. Fifteen years ago, the South Carolina NAACP launched an economic boycott of the state that was joined by the national NAACP, the UAW, and the NCAA. Over the years, thousands of people have worked for this flag's removal, setting the stage for MoveOn members to help provide a final push.
In the wake of the massacre in Charleston, MoveOn member Karen Hunter wanted a way to do something immediate and meaningful. So she started a petition to take down the flag on all government grounds—which quickly became the second-fastest growing petition in MoveOn history.
By the following Monday, abandoning her previous position, Governor Nikki Haley stood at the state Capitol, surrounded by members of South Carolina's congressional delegation, and called for the flag to come down too. And within days, a majority of South Carolina legislators had aligned with the governor's call.
Of course, MoveOn members didn't assume a victory was inevitable—instead, we turned up the pressure. Members in South Carolina launched calls to their legislators' Capitol and district offices (which sometimes meant calling legislators' homes!). We took over major South Carolina newspapers with ads, and we joined thousands of South Carolinians at massive rallies throughout the state.
We stayed the course, until victory was assured. And as of today, we've won.
Today, South Carolina is a more just and welcoming place because its political leaders have finally done the right thing. And this long-sought victory—brought about by many people acting together—has added yet another domino to the cascade of Confederate flags falling all across the country at state capitols, major retailers, and more.
This is a historic moment—it's a big win for MoveOn members and people across our nation. Let's all take a short time to celebrate—and then let's get back to the tough work of fighting for racial and economic justice in this country.
Thanks for all you do.–Corinne, Ben O., Erica, Mark, and the rest of the team
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