COLUMBIA, S.C. – 7:40 a.m.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says she's proud of how her state responded to the shooting deaths of nine people at a historic black church in Charleston last month, a shooting that led to Friday's removal of the Confederate flag flying in front of the Statehouse.
Haley told NBC's "Today" show Friday morning that she'll be thinking of the shooting victims as the flag is removed at a 10 a.m. ceremony.
Haley said South Carolinians honor tradition and history but the Confederate flag belongs in a museum where people can honor it appropriately.
Haley said: "No one should ever drive by the Statehouse and feel pain. No one should ever drive by the Statehouse and feel like they don't belong."
Police have roped off the Confederate flag and the area immediately behind it stretching back to the South Carolina Statehouse, where the flag is to be removed in a 10 a.m. ceremony that's expected to be brief.
Barricades have been put up on either side of the flag where people can gather to watch the ceremony. The busy street that runs in front of the Statehouse is still open, but police plan to close it before the ceremony.
Reporters and videographers outnumbered the crowd. A number of law enforcement officers were scattered about the grounds and nearby streets.
Columbia City Council on Thursday night approved a temporary ordinance banning weapons from nearby streets around the Statehouse for the next 30 days.
The Ku Klux Klan has said it will meet at the Statehouse later this month.