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.
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.
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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