Michael Moore: I Have Gift for Confederate Flag Taker
Filmmaker and activist makes offer to Bree Newsome
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 28, 2015 1:39 PM CDT
Bree Newsome of Charlotte, NC, right, is taken into custody after she removed the Confederate battle flag from a monument in front of the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, S.C., June, 27, 2015.   (AP Photo/Bruce Smith)
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(Newser) – The two people arrested for removing the Confederate flag from the front of the South Carolina Statehouse have been released from jail in the state capital—and filmmaker Michael Moore is offering pay legal fees and bail for one of them, USA Today reports. Officer L. Tucker of the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center says 30-year-old Bree Newsome and 30-year-old James Ian Tyson were released from jail yesterday after posting bond. Both Newsome and Tyson are from Charlotte. Newsome was about halfway up the more than 30-foot steel flagpole just after dawn yesterday when officers of the South Carolina Bureau of Protective Services ran to the flagpole and told her to get down. Instead, she continued up the pole and removed the flag.

She and Tyson, who had both climbed over a wrought-iron fence to get to the flag, were arrested. The flag, which is protected by state law, was raised about 45 minutes later, well ahead of a rally later yesterday by supporters of keeping the flag where it is. Sherri Iacobelli, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety, says Newsome and James Ian Tyson, 30, also of Charlotte, have been charged with defacing monuments on state Capitol grounds. That's a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison term of up to three years or both. Moore made his offer on Twitter, but no word yet on whether it's been accepted.