Reasserting White Supremacy: South Carolina’s Ben Tillman and the 2016 presidential election

Erstwhile: A History Blog

On July 10th, 2015, members of a South Carolina Highway Patrol honor guard reeled down the Confederate flag from a pole in front of the statehouse. Ten thousand onlookers roared excitedly as the flag descended, some cheering “USA! USA! USA!” – a traditionally patriotic shout that took on new meaning when chanted at the flag representing the Confederate cause, a cause based in treason against the United States.

imrs-1Activist Bree Newsome removes the Confederate flag from the pole at South Carolina’s Statehouse on June 27, 2015. In the foreground is a monument to the Confederate dead. Newsome was arrested shortly after this and the flag was restored to its place for another two weeks. Courtesy REUTERS/Adam Anderson.

An anti-civil rights state government first raised the Confederate flag over the South Carolina statehouse in 1961. The NAACP led direct action against the flag starting in the late 1990s, culminating in 

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