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According to CNN, it took just a few minutes, simultaneously somber and festive, to put a bookend on the Confederate flag’s 54-year run at the South Carolina Capitol grounds.

A crowd of hundreds erupted in cheers, and sang a farewell refrain more associated with sports arenas, as uniformed highway patrol officers lowered the flag from a pole next to a soldiers’ monument shortly after 10 a.m. ET Friday.

“Hey, hey, hey, goodbye!” the voices sang.

Watch Confederate flag come down from South Carolina's capitol

Watch Confederate flag come down from South Carolina’s capitol 01:00
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It was a move stemming from years of deep-rooted controversy over the banner that gained steam after last month’s massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston.

“Finally we can breathe, we can sigh, we can cheer,” said former state Rep. Bakari Sellers, one of the onlookers. “This is why Rosa sat and Martin marched, so that we can have events like this.”

Hundreds encircled the monument to witness a flag-lowering ceremony that was both choreographed and quick. The patrol officers handed the flag to one of the state’s two black Cabinet-level officials, Department of Public Safety Director Leroy Smith.

In a fate decided by lawmakers this week after hours of passionate debate, the flag was taken to a state military museum about a mile down the road, where it will be exhibited.

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