The flags of the Confederacy that flew high over Fort Sumter, the site where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, have been taken down from the historic site.

The decision to remove the flags came from a directive by National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis in Washington, D.C. which reads: "Confederate flags shall not be flown in units of the National Park system and related sites with the exception of specific circumstances where the flags provide historic context. ... All superintendents and program managers should evaluate how Confederate flags are used ... and remove the flags where appropriate." "Shall not be flown" is the only text that appears in bold in the letter.

The site of the Civil War's first battle is clearly a "historic" one, but according to a Fort Sumter spokesperson, it doesn't qualify as a place where "flags provide historical context," local WMBF News reported.

After the initial order from Washington to remove the flags was handed down, NPS Director Jarvis provided "further guidance" the next day that put the onus for the decision on regional directors. Fort Sumter's Superintendent Timothy Stone did not reverse Jarvis' decision and the flags remain down.

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