MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW and AP) – The Confederate flag flying at the South Carolina Statehouse was removed Friday morning but before that the flag flew at the Statehouse for nearly 20,000 days.
The Myrtle Beach NAACP President says though it was time for the flag to come down, it’s still hard to believe it’s now a reality.
“It was very surprising because I didn’t think it was going to happen immediately but I was very elated and thankful that the people of South Carolina can work together in harmony so I was very excited,” James said.
James says now that the flag is down the NAACP will work on ways to move forward and come together to move relationships locally and statewide in a positive direction.
“It’s going to broaden it. It’s going to give us a little bit more spectrum to work with and more room to talk to people now and sit down and be more relaxed and not tense so I’m looking forward to it,” James said.
The NAACP will introduce an emergency resolution at its national convention this weekend to lift its 15-year economic boycott of South Carolina, following the state legislature’s decision to remove the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds.
“It’s a lot of things we’re going to see good come out of this. A lot of great things are going to come out of this so we can’t be pessimistic we’ve got to be optimistic and that’s where I’m at right now,” James added.
NAACP president Cornell William Brooks said Thursday that the church massacre last month and the “brutality of this moment spoke to the country in ways that a boycott alone would not do.
“But be clear, the prospect of a bigger boycott, more economic sanctions, were effective,” he said.
The NAACP announced its statewide boycott when the flag was in front of the Statehouse in 2000. The boycott was observed by the NCAA, United Auto Workers and others.