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Tom Clements

Activist's removal of South Carolina's Confederate flag ignites both sides

Activist's removal of South Carolina's Confederate flag ignites both sides

A young black woman scaled a flagpole in front of the South Carolina Statehouse just after dawn Saturday and took down the Confederate battle flag that has become the focus of controversy since a gunman killed nine African Americans inside a historic Charleston church.

The woman, whom authorities identified as Brittany Ann Newsome, refused to descend until she had unhooked the flag.

“Ma'am, come down off the pole,” a police officer called when Newsome, who was wearing a helmet and climbing gear, was midway up the 30-foot flagpole.

“You come against me with hatred and oppression and bias,” she cried after she reached the top and unhooked the...

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