Confederate flag has been removed from South Carolina State Hous - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

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Confederate flag has been removed from South Carolina State House

Protesters on both sides of the issue outside the State House Thursday Protesters on both sides of the issue outside the State House Thursday

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – Fifty-three years of history came to a close on the State House grounds on Friday morning as the Confederate flag was permanently removed from its prominent location in front of South Carolina's seat of government.

After hours of spirited debate in both houses of state government and countless amendments to the bill to remove the flag, it was passed early Thursday morning and signed by Governor Nikki Haley at 4 p.m. Now that the flag has been removed from the flagpole at the State House, it will be moved to the Confederate Relic Room at the State Museum.

Gov. Nikki Haley joined lawmakers and public officials from across the state for the brief ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday morning as the color guard for the South Carolina Highway Patrol marched up, brought the flag down, and marched away.

Thousands of people on both sides of the contentious issue surrounded the State House grounds, with cheers of "USA! USA!" and a rendition of Steam's "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey-ey Goodbye" as the flag was removed.

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