The Confederate flag was momentarily removed from in front of the South Carolina Statehouse by a woman who shimmied up the pole this morning. A woman the New York Daily News identifies as Bree Newsome was about halfway up the more than 30-foot steel flagpole just after dawn when State Capitol police told her to come down. Instead, she continued up and removed the flag before returning to the ground, where she was arrested. The Daily News reports Newsome was equipped with a harness and hard hat, and quotes her as yelling from the pole, "You cannot get to me with hatred and oppression and violence. I come to do this in the name of God. This flag comes down today."
Newsome was part of a group of roughly 10 activists who, according to organizer Tamika Lewis, intended to put the flag on lock-down in a box while the funerals of those killed in a Charleston, South Carolina, church last week take place. But State Police recovered the flag, which is protected by state law, immediately; it was raised again a short time later. A rally by flag supporters is scheduled for later today. President Obama yesterday delivered a 40-minute eulogy for Clementa Pinckney, the pastor and state senator killed in the massacre; Obama broke out into "Amazing Grace" at the end. Watch it here.