We will bring the flag down "with dignity and we will make sure that it's put in its rightful place," Gov. Nikki Haley said as she signed the bill on Thursday

By Tierney McAfee
Updated July 09, 2015 04:40 PM
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Credit: Richard Ellis/EPA/Landov

It’s official – the Confederate flag at South Carolina’s statehouse has flown its final day.

After the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly (94 to 20) in favor of a bill to remove the controversial symbol from the Capitol grounds, a “grateful” Gov. Nikki Haley signed the bill into law during a ceremony at the statehouse Thursday afternoon.

“We are a state that believes in tradition, we are a state that believes in history, we are a state that believes in respect,” said Haley, who was surrounded by family members of those killed in the Charleston church massacre on June 17. “So we will bring [the flag] down with dignity and we will make sure that it’s put in its rightful place.”

“Twenty-two days ago, I didn’t know that I would ever be able to say this again,” she continued. “But today I am very proud to say that it is a great day in South Carolina.”

RELATED VIDEO: South Carolina House of Representatives Votes to Remove Confederate Flag

The House of Representatives approved the bill to remove the flag early Thursday morning after a 12-hour-long debate on Wednesday night. The flag, which has flown on statehouse grounds for more than 50 years, will be taken down Friday morning at 10 a.m. ET and sent to the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum for display.

The South Carolina governor and other politicians from both parties had called for the state to remove the battle flag after a gunman killed nine worshippers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, in what authorities say was a racially motivated attack.

In a Facebook post Thursday afternoon, Haley said:

“Today, as the Senate did before them, the House of Representatives has served the State of South Carolina and her people with great dignity. I’m grateful for their service and their compassion. It is a new day in South Carolina, a day we can all be proud of, a day that truly brings us all together as we continue to heal, as one people and one state.”