This story has been updated.
UPDATE, 3:20 p.m. EDT: The two people charged with taking down the Confederate flag in South Carolina have been given a bond of $3,000 each, and both are allowed to leave the state, Columbia television station WLTX-TV reported.
UPDATE, 2:51 p.m. EDT: Officials from the National Association for the Advvancement of Colored People (NAACP) say they have identified Brittany "Bree" Newsome as a Black Lives Matter activist and the one responsible for taking down the Confederate flag at the Statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina. The organization's president and CEO, Cornell William Brooks, issued a statement commending Newsome for her actions.
“For 15 years, the NAACP has called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag and has maintained economic sanctions against the state of South Carolina," said Brooks in the statement. "The NAACP, Governor Nikki Haley, a bipartisan coalition of policymakers, an expanding number of American businesses, and a courageous young woman named Bree Newsome are all united in opposition to the Confederate flag. Ms. Newsome temporarily removed the flag flying in front of South Carolina’s state house. As well as supporting the permanent removal of the flag legislatively, we commend the courage and moral impulse of Ms. Newsome as she stands for justice like many NAACP activists including Henry David Thoreau, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and numerous Americans who have engaged in civil disobedience.
"The NAACP calls on state prosecutors to consider the moral inspiration behind the civil disobedience of this young practitioner of democracy. Prosecutors should treat Ms. Newsome with the same large-hearted measure of justice that inspired her actions. The NAACP stands with our youth and behind the multigenerational band of activists fighting the substance and symbols of bigotry, hatred and intolerance.”
UPDATE, 1:28 p.m. EDT: A video obtained by the Associated Press shows a woman believed to be Brittany "Bree" Newsome climbing the flagpole at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia and taking down the Conferate flag. The video is a little over a minute long and shows the woman climbing the pole, assisted by a man wearing a yellow, reflective vest, and then climbing down where she is arrested by authorities. See the video below.
Original story appears below.
A woman scaled the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Statehouse Saturday morning and temporarily removed the Confederate flag that flew there. The woman was arrested by State Capitol police along with a man who had entered the grounds with her, the Associated Press reported. The flag was replaced and raised a short time later.
The woman, who was not identified by authorities, was named on social media as Brittany “Bree” Newsome, an activist from North Carolina. Her actions inspired the hashtag #KeepItDown, which was one of the top trending topics on Twitter in the U.S. Saturday. Later in the day, the hashtag #FreeBree was also trending in the U.S.
According to BreeNewsome.com, a site linked to a Twitter account belonging to a user with the name Bree Newsome and mentioned by numerous users in conjunction with the #KeepItDown hashtag, Newsome is an activist and graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
— Rashad Robinson (@rashadrobinson) June 27, 2015
“While still in high school, Newsome created an animated short, ‘The Three Princes Of Idea’ which earned her a $40,000 scholarship from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences,” the website states.
Climber is talking to cop about why she's doing this today. pic.twitter.com/sJuOFFtkzc
— Ferguson Action (@fergusonaction) June 27, 2015
Calls to remove the flag, which is protected by South Carolina law, have been renewed since nine African-Americans were killed in what police have labeled a hate crime at a Charleston church last week. Gov. Nikki Haley and a group of the state’s top lawmakers called for the flag to be removed during a press conference last week. However, the proposal to take it down must be approved by two-thirds majorities in both chambers of the South Carolina Legislature.
Civil-rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson chimed in on the news, commending Newsome for her actions and calling for her release. Jackson described Newsome’s actions as courageous as he tweeted his support:
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) June 27, 2015