Activist Bree Newsome climbed the flagpole in front of the South Carolina State Capitol building in Columbia on Saturday and took down the Confederate Flag. Both Newsome and fellow activist James Tyson, who waited at the bottom of the flagpole, were arrested, leading to twitter hashtags #FreeBree and #FreeJames.
With this act of Civil Disobedience, Bree Newsome has become a legend now, and the image of her climb to take down the flag has traveled around the world via social media.
From The State
Activists calling themselves “concerned citizens” said in a news release that they removed the flag about 5:30 a.m. Saturday. A woman identified by the group as “Bree” climbed the pole and pulled the flag down, the group said.
“Deciding to do what the SC Legislature has thus far neglected to do, the group took down the symbol of white supremacy that inspired the massacre, continued to fly at full mast in defiance of South Carolina’s grief, and flew in defiance of everyone working to actualize a more equitable Carolinian future,” the group said in a news release distributed to the media about 6:30 a.m.
The state Bureau of Protective Services confirmed it had arrested two people at the State House about 6:15 a.m. Those arrested were Brittany Ann Byuarim Newsome, a 30-year-old Raleigh resident, and James Ian Tyson, a 30-year-old Charlotte resident, the protective services bureau said.
They are charged with defacing state property, a misdemeanor that carries penalties of up to three years in prison or a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
Newsome was loudly reciting the 23rd Psalm as she was being arrested.
#FreeBree this is the Berlin Wall moment of our generation in America #TakeDownTheFlag #KeepItDown #UniteBlue pic.twitter.com/6YcP1kbuP2— NaphiSoc (@NaphiSoc) June 27, 2015
Newsome's father is a former dean at Howard University and now president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.— Goldie Taylor (@goldietaylor) June 27, 2015
This is Bree. An amazing black woman who climbed the pole and took down the racist flag. pic.twitter.com/DK07mcXRMo— Ferguson Action (@fergusonaction) June 27, 2015
Bree Newsome Supporters Raise $20,000 for Her in Three Hours #FreeBree http://t.co/WHtJo6dCn6 pic.twitter.com/UtIVd464Ab— SPLC (@splcenter) June 27, 2015
Not sure who drew this but I'd pay to have it on my wall. Today we witnessed history. #FreeBree pic.twitter.com/oDm8tw4DbO— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) June 27, 2015
Here is the vid of #Bree #BreeNewsome @BreeNewsome taking down the #Charleston #ConfederateFlag #FreeBree #BreeRocks https://t.co/g7BHnW5xup— Bassem Masri (@bassem_masri) June 27, 2015
Many were dismayed that the flag was immediately raised again, possibly because there was to be a pro-Confederate rally held later in the day.
BREAKING: SC has ordered the flag be put back up. Just in time for the white supremacist rally at 11AM today. pic.twitter.com/h0pBq15uWb— Ferguson Action (@fergusonaction) June 27, 2015
Why did @NikkiHaley rush to get Confed flag back up 45-min after #FreeBree #FreeJames took it down? Klan Rally pic.twitter.com/neB5khl4HE— RiskyLiberal (@RiskyLiberal) June 27, 2015