The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is considering ending their boycott of South Carolina following the removal of the Confederate flag.
The South Carolina House of Representatives voted 94-20 to remove the flag Thursday from the capitol grounds. Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to sign the bill into law Thursday afternoon and the flag is expected to come down on Friday morning.
The NAACP launched the boycott in 2000 after a major political battle over whether to keep the flag on Statehouse grounds. The National Collegiate Athletic Association and the United Automobile Workers joined the Baltimore-based civil rights organization’s boycott. The boycott has kept major conferences and sporting events out of South Carolina for the past 15 years.
NAACP President Cornell William Brooks said the NAACP will consider an emergency resolution to lift the economic boycott of South Carolina at its annual convention this weekend in Philadelphia, adding the flag is one of America’s “longest standing symbols of hatred and exclusion.”
“This flag should be studied and no longer honored. This legislative decision affirms the 15 years of collective advocacy of the NAACP on both the national and state level to bring down the flag,” he said in a statement.
“By removing the flag, South Carolina not only denounces an odious emblem of a bygone era but also honors the lives of nine students of scripture who were gunned down in a church, including that of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the former South Carolina state senator,” Brooks added.
Dr. Lonnie Randolph, NAACP South Carolina State Conference President, called the decision to remove the flag “profoundly American.”
“I applaud South Carolina state senators, members of the House of Representatives and Governor Nikki Haley for their commitment and support to the citizens of South Carolina and the citizens of this country,” he said.