The woman was identified as “Bree” in a news release by Blackbird, an activist organization that was helping out with press but did not facilitate the event itself. She did not act alone, but was part of a larger group of activists who wanted to see the flag come down.
Bree is black, but the group she was part of is multiracial, according to Blackbird's release.
"We removed the flag today because we can't wait any longer,” Bree said in a statement. “We can't continue like this another day. It's time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality.”
The woman made it about halfway up the pole when authorities commanded her to come down, but she continued to go up and remove the flag, which was padlocked in place. She was arrested, along with a man and a woman who accompanied her to the Statehouse grounds in Columbia.
The flag was raised again about an hour later, according to multiple sources.
A pro-Confederate battle flag rally is scheduled for on Saturday and people turned out in their hundreds to support.
Last week’s massacre of nine black churchgoers by a white gunman reignited controversy surrounding the flag, which many believe to be a symbol of racism and hate. Numerous activists, politicians and regular citizens have called for the flag to be removed from the South Carolina Capitol grounds, with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) voicing out her support for taking the flag down.