tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN July 10, 2015 6:00am-7:01am PDT
it comes after an explosive debate following the church massacre in charleston that killed nine people. just yesterday governor nikki haley signed the law to remove the flag where she used a set of pens for each of the victims . lawmakers will make their way down capital steps and head to the flag pole. around 10:00 eastern time this flag will be taken down by the head of the department of public safety. he will then transfer it to the state's confederate relic room and ruemuseum. all of this as the naacp plans to drop a 15-year economic boycott against south carolina. good morning, don. >> reporter: good morning to you. where were you on friday july 10th 2015? watching cnn's coverage of the flag coming down in south
carolina a flag of hate for many in this country that represents hate. to some they say it represents southern pride, but to others it represents hate. i'm standing in front of the state house. people are starting to gather around. there are people here with their families in picnic chairs and lawn chairs. they're about to block off the street here in front of the state house in just moments. there are hundreds of people standing on the state house grounds right near the confederate flag -- or the battle flag as they call it here in south carolina and in the south. as a son of the south, i want to introduce another son of the south. what a day. it's an amazing day. i never thought i'd be standing here with you in front of the world on this joyous day of history. i spoke to my father this morning and we just had a deep sigh and shed a tear.
that flag went up when he was 16 years old still in high school about an hour a way. the struggles and sacrifices that so many heros made this this country so that i could stand here before you today, that movement and that journey continues and this is a civil rights victory for us all. >> reporter: all eyes will be on south carolina and this flag and also nikki haley. nikki haley being on the right side of history. she has faced a lot of opposition. >> there are only two pages in the history backs. there's a right side and a wrong side. governor haley is a friend of mine. we're both from the same county in this state. we grew up in a place where the facilities weren't the best but people had great hearts. she made a decision that may not win her points with her republican base but she made a decision to move the state of south carolina forward.
>> reporter: there are republicans who feel this flag should come down. >> there are. what you saw was bipartisan support in both claimhambers. i think we were an example for the rest of the world. democrats and republicans came together big city small city black and white, didn't matter. if we can do this together imagine what we can do next. >> reporter: and it's going to be a short ceremony. she's not expected to make remarks. she made her remarks yesterday where she said a whole generation of people are going to be looking at south carolina differently in the years to come. expect it to start at 10:00 a.m. lawmakers i should tell you who want to participate will come down about 9:45 about 15 minutes before. that's eastern time. they'll gather on the steps if they want to participate in this. a short ceremony but it is
expected to be moving nonetheless. >> looks like a lot of people out there from the public who want to see this historic moment firsthand. thanks to both of you. while today is historic for south carolina it's also a somber day as we remember the tragic event that brought us to this point after that brutal church shooting that many started calling for the flag to come down. governor nikki haley said today is a tribute to those victims. >> the state house is an area that belongs to everyone and no one should ever drive by the state house and feel pain. no one should feel like they don't belong. i think this is a hopeful day for south carolina. i think it's a day that we can all say that we have come together as a state. i think you can look at the way south carolina responded to this tragedy and i think we can all say that hopefully the emanuel nine are looking down and feeling proud today. >> let's talk more about this
historic moment with van jones joining us from san diego this morning. i know this is a huge moment not just for south carolina but really for the entire nation. and you have fought for civil rights for a long time yourself. what's going through your mind right now? >> well it's an emotional moment i think, for a lot of people. i grew up in the south. i'm a ninth generation american. i'm the first person in my family that was born with all my rights recognized and respected. i was born in '68. i think people don't understand how recent this segregationist past is. my parents were born under segregation and married under segregation. this flag -- i understand as a southerner why people feel that our region is not respected. why people want to have regional pride. there's a sense that people on
the coast and from the north look down on us. that is true. we need to have regional pride. but this flag can no longer be that symbol. it has become increasingly associated with more and more hateful elements. it's become increasingly -- even in europe they're not allowed to fly the swastika. this is a flag of rebellion, of treason against the united states of america. this is about dividing the united states. there's really no reason to give a flag like that such a prominent place. of course you don't take it from the history books. of course you put it in a museum. of course if as a private citizen you want to fry it,ly it that's fine. why should a state building fly a flag that stood for racial hatred. as an american it's time for us to put that flag in the museum
where it belongs. >> what's so interesting is this really could just be the beginning of a huge movement. other states like georgia and mississippi they have elements of the confederate flag in their state flags, not just a flag that's flying on state ground but really it's part of what represents their state. what do you think should happen in those oh places?other places? >> i think it's appropriate that you do have this interweaving of this horrible past. most americans don't look at this part of our past because it's just so painful. we say, jeez i wish we could just move on. but then you look at the state flags of states of our union and the history is right there in your face. we have to deal with this. i think it is important to revisit this. listen when you start pulling on symbols, you also start
hitting on substance. i think it's important if we're going to change these flakes,gs do it in a respectful way. but i think it's time to have the conversation. we also haveare following other news this morning. still to come al qaeda's new leader calling for terror attacks on the u.s. making a public call for this. staying in rhythm...
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new terror threats against america by one of the most dangerous branches of al qaeda, the new leader of the group's branch in the arabian peninsula has released a message calling for attacks on the u.s.- now, he is the group's former military chief and he moved into this lead role after an air strike in june that killed the former leader. we get more now from jim sciutto
joining us in washington. jim, just how serious of a threat is this? >> it real. it's serious. the current focus has been on isis and that is very real as well. there's a difference here. while isis is most likely to carry out an attack on the u.s. homeland. those tend to beless ambitious plots. aqap is different. their bomb maker is famous around the world for shrinking bombs, making them easily concealed in electronics getting on airplanes. that kind of thing. when i speak counter terrorism officials they worry about aqap because that's the kind of attack that would be more ambitious, spectacular and deadly. >> this new leader who has all this military background apparently does it mean that
the strategy against the u.s. might be changing in some way? >> not changing but i think reiterating that threat. the u.s. is in their targets. i think it's a bit of competition because isis has soaked up a lot of oxygen as it were in the jihadi world. it is the hot terror group. it attracts not just foreign fighters but it's also attracting some aqap righters. these groups thrive on relevance and in being in people's attention. and they do that by carrying out attacks. i think here you have this new leader afterthe other was killed in the u.s. drone strike last month, saying we're still here we're still a threat join us attack america. that's their message and it is somewhat competitive with isis. still to come with nuclear negotiations with iran expected
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talks on iran's nuclear program will now probably go through the weekend, blowing through a third deadline. this is the word from iran's foreign minister who you see there on the balcony in vienna. when reporters asked him if they would still be there on monday he yelled back i hope not. secretary of state john kerry also talking about their negotiations. he said working diligently to see if an agreement stis possible. joining me now to talk about the
negative shasotiations is ed royce. thank you so much for being with me congressman. >> thank you. >> the deadline has been extended twice now. some right argue this is a sign the administration is standing firm on its pledge not to accept a bad deal. >> the key point here is not the delay. the key point is holding to the position that we're able to inspect those military bases and really have international inspectors have the ability to go anywhere any time. that's one of the big differences of opinion with the i ayatolla saying no. no access to where they've done the testing in the past. this is a big point of contention. and the iranians are demanding the lifting of all sanctions up front while simultaneously
rearming hezbollah and hamas with new missiles. this has created a bit of consternation as well. >> yesterday you issued the statement that reads in part we don't know the details of the final agreement, but we do know its essence, permanent sanctionings resanctions from the u.s. how is that a good deal? sporters er supporters may argue it's better than nothing. does it have to be all or nothing? >> no. remember this was originally supposed to be multiple decades, 20-plus years. of course the iranians want it to only be ten years. congress signed a letter signed by 80% of the house saying let's have this be a 20-year time period or more. let's make certain the inspectors can go anywhere any time. let's not lift all the sanctions up front so we've got leverage
in the deal and let's get the questions of the international inspectors answered on the test work bomb work that was already done. that's the position of the congress in this. >> at this point now that we've passed the thursday deadline if congress were to have 30 days to review a potential deal. now you'll have 60 days if there is a deal made at all. is there a deal that you would consider satisfactory understanding there may have to be some compromises? >> yes, there is. but we don't want to make the same mistake we made with the 1994 north korea framework agreement where we did not have the ability for inspectors to go anywhere any time and talk to the scientists on the north korean side. the result of that was that north korea got the bomb. in congress we're a little more aware that we're dealing with people like zarif here who in the past laid the wreath at the
grave site of the terrorists who bombed the kobar towers and carried out those attacks in lebanon. the full understanding of what we're dealing with here we want to make certain we have verification in this agreement. >> the director of the arms control association disagrees with you saying it's unnecessary and unrealistic to go anywhere any time. what's your response to that? >> remember the problem is that iran did their testing at military sites deep into a mountain. so if we do not have the ability to go onto the very military sites where they did the testing and where we now know there's a thousand pages of documents which the i.a.e.a. does have that shows the testing that they did do. if we can't follow up on, that
then they could cheat on the agreement in the same way the north koreans cheated on the agreement. in that situation the agreement would be worth no more than what it's written on. that is why it's so important we have this ability to go into these sites for the international inspectors. >> secretary kerry has said they will walk away at some point if there's not some kind of compromise if there's not progress being made. when is it time to walk away and then what? >> i think we should try to get an agreement, but we should be clear-eyed. out on the streets in iran you'll be following this story later today, there are millions of iranians chanting down with america, death to israel in celebrating a holiday called by the ayatollah years ago.
when they say death to the great satan, death to the little satan as they're saying on the streets, remember this is the official position of a regime that wants icmbs and we suspect wants nukes for a reason. we want to actually verify what they are or are not doing in terms of their testing. >> i hope a deal does come to fruition. congressman ed royce thank you so much for your time today. >> thank you. still to come, a historic moment. for 54 years the confederate flag has flown on the grounds of the state capitol. in just a few minutes a ceremony will begin to remove this flag from the pole. we'll have live coverage with don lemon in south carolina right after a break. stay with us.
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the confederate flag is coming off the grounds of the south carolina state house. [ applause ]. >> take it down take it down. >> take a symbol of hate off these grounds on friday! >> nine amazing people that forever changed south carolina's history. >> i almost cried when i saw that picture of the south carolina legislature yesterday with republicans and the democrats and the african americans and the white people embracing each other. >> this is really the beginning of the healing for south carolina. >> 22 days ago i didn't know that i would ever be able to say this again, but today i am very proud to say that it is a great day in south carolina.
[ applause ] . good morning everyone from south carolina. i'm standing here at the state house grounds really right in front of the state house grounds where this confederate flag will come down in less than 30 minutes. it has been standing here since 1961 and today is an historic day. it is july 10th 2015. i have been asking all morning here on cnn, where were you on this day? will you remember where you were on this day, an historic day that for many means a symbol of hate will be removed from the state capitol of south carolina. there are people who have been gathering here all morning. hundreds if not thauzousand z of people gathering all around here
right here on the steps of the capital. lawmakers were supposed to gather in about 15 minutes. they have decided to start early. they are going to take part in this ceremony for as much as they can standing there. the governor of course nikki haley, will be presiding over the ceremony as well as two former governors and an elder from the ame church in charleston south carolina. i should say a very sober moment here not a sad moment but a sober moment. and i want to bring in my colleague who is at the ceremony now and we'll talk to her. but i want to bring in bakari sellers who is a former state representative here and also a friend of the clementa pinckney who was a state senator here who lost his life in that massacre in the ame church. i'm wondering what this moment means to you as a friend and a
former lawmaker here. >> those nine souls lived their life purposefully. and they paid the ultimate price. but they gave up their life so that we could all come together. and i think that clemtenta and those other eight souls are going to be remembered not just for the flag coming down but everything you saw around you. a young white girl named jenny just ran up to me and gave me a big hug and said i saw you on cnn. it fills my heart with so much joy because when you turn on the news and read the newspapers there's always something bad happening. finally the world is looking at south carolina for something positive. and in the words of flor rida it's going down for real. >> it just got real.
people have been coming up to me since i've been here wanting to say hello and thanking us for being in south carolina and welcoming us to south carolina. and some of the family members of those who died in the church asking where are you. that's the kind of mood that's happening here. >> i said don i don't want to see you anymore when we're talking about death and misery. today we're here celebrating. this is what our country was founded on. this is what our fore fathers believed. this is why rosa sat and martin marched so that we could events like this and all people could come together. although everybody might not be on the same team at least we're here in a peaceful joyous fashion. >> there are helicopters overhead. there are thousands gathering. my colleague is somewhere in that crowd very near to where the ceremony is going to happen. what are you seeing? >> you know i'm ant as close as you can get to the confederate
battle flag that's going to be removed this less than 30 minutes at this point. what i'm seeing is just a sea of people. there's hundreds of people here gathered to witness this event. i am seeing mostly people who are favoring the removal of this flak flag but i have seen people in the crowd who are holding confederate flags. as you know this is a devicivees ifdevicive issue. i spoke with a state legislator yesterday who's been here at the house since the '90s. and she was here when the flag was remove from the capital dome to it current spot. she said this is something i never thought i was going to see in my lifetime. and i can't believe it's happening now. and i'm so thankful that it is. >> i want you to stand by because we'll be coming back to you. i want to get now to andre
duncan. he's a nephew of myra thompson who lost her life in the ame shooting. i'm wondering what this moment means to you and your family. . >> im's >> it's huge. it's a hateful symbol and it's coming down. i never thought in my 37 years it would come down. that would be the last thing that i could think of that would happen in the state of south carolina. >> what do you think myra would think of this moment? >> she would love it the fact that everybody's together the community is coming together, the church family is doing well. i think she would love it. >> you know everyone says this is just a moment that it's really a symbol that is coming down. it is part of the symptom. it's really not the entire problem here. south carolina and the united
states but specifically south carolina there are bigger issues being a citizen here that you know that must be dealt with. >> don, it's a hopeful sign that this symbol is coming down.he used a gun to kill the emanuel nine. >> this whole uproar about the nag flag what has that been like living here and also being a part of a family member who's involved? >> it's been tough. but you know the outcome is going to be good. so everybody -- like i said before everybody here is together and that's what i wanted to see. you know i enjoy seeing that. i enjoy seeing people fight for their community. a lot of people are standing up
who were silent before. that's what it's about, a community come together. sometimes you've got to -- even though you believe in certain things you've got to give the people what they want. if the majority of the people don't believe in it just take it down. >> you know i sat yesterday and spoke with some of clementa pinckney's very good friends. they say sometimes it's too much to pay attention. they are reading the newspapers and it's just been too overwhelming. as a result have you felt that at all? >> i did. i stayed close to my family members and friend. you know i just couldn't do it. congress needs to expand brady background checks. those groundbackground checks are
going to save lives. we need to push congress to expand those background checks and give those guys who want to buy guns online and at the gun shows a harder time to buy a gun. because we're getting guns in the wrong hand. >> yeah. and you know, you bring up a very good point. people say this flag is a symbol of hate to some. but also a symbol of hate is a person who should not be carrying a gun. people believe in the second amendment. people believe in the right to bear arms. someone who clearly should not have had a gun -- >> i agree. >> andre, thank you. i want you to stand by. i want our don'tcorrespondents and ou our viewers at home to stand by
as well. it is an emotional day for sons and daughters of the south. this flag was a constant daily reminder of slavery, of jim crow of hate. it's just to be a moment in just a short time from now, in about 15 minutes, to watch this relic really of the past go into where it should be a relic room. we're going to be live from the steps of the state capitol in south carolina and we'll continue our breaking news coverage of the removal of the battle flag the confederate flag from the state house grounds. our coverage continues after a quick break. are you moving forward fast enough? everywhere you look, it strategy is now business strategy. and a partnership with hp can help you accelerate down a path created by people, technology and ideas. to move your company from what it is now... to what it needs to become.
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this flag will come down in just a short time. many have wanted it to come down for decades. thousands have gathered here in front of the state house on these grounds. this flag will be exactly what it should be a relic. it will go into the relic room, into a museum where people if they care to view it can go and view it. but it doesn't have to be in people's faces every single day when they walk here or pass the state house or pass the state capitol. i want to bring in now james mclawhorn who is the president of the columbia urban league. and also my colleague van jones joins me as well. what does this mean to you? >> this is a blessed day for us. 15 years ago we mobilized over 16,000 people. we had a coalition of faith, community and civic organizations that came out because we wanted this flag removed. this flag has had a negative
averse impact on the aspirations and the expectations of south carolina particularly african american people. >> you know everybody doesn't see it that way. it's a symbol of pride, my history, my family pride, my loved ones great great grandfathers who fought in the war. >> and i understand that. but the state capitol is not a place for that. the state capitol is supported by all citizens. if you want your heritage and your pride somewhere, put it on your personal property. put it in the a museum. i think that's the best place for it to be. no one is challenging their heritage. what we're're challenging is that we don't want this symbol on the state house grounds that have been used to terrorize and intimidate people for years. >> i've heard some people say, you know it's just ceremonial. a big deal is being made about this. there are many more things to
accomplish. but there are thousand zs of people who are out here. this place has become a touch touchstone here for what needs to be done not only to direct injustices in the south, but really around the country today. this is going to set a mark. this will be the beginning of this or at least a starting point. >> yes, i think so. this flag has promoted a culture of low expectations a culture of i can't be all i want the to be. quite often you hear south k-- now this provides encouragement and sends a very positive message. >> it's interesting that you said that because i grew up in baton rouge, louisiana, really a little town called port allen, louisiana and also baker. i didn't think specifically about the flag.
i just thought my chances are limited as long as i stay in the south. so i went north where i did have more opportunities quite frankly. cnn's van jones joins me now. you know mr. mclawhorn brings up a very valid point that just hit home with me. many people do leave the south because they feel they don't have opportunities and this flag may be a representation of that. >> i'm thinking about my father who passed away a few years ago and thinking about my grandfather. these were very very strong men. but whenever a truck would pass with that confederate flag in the back they would get very tense. i remember being a child. i loved the dukes of hazzard. i wanted that little car with the flag on it. my dad said we can't bring that flag into our house. that was my first heart break as
a child when i realized what that flag meant. there are other hateful symbols. the nazis had a hateful symbol. you don't fly that every day. isis has a symbol. you don't fly hateful flags in history is for museums, personal property but let's create a situation where everybody can feel they belong that they're going to be respected. that flag has not been a respectful flag. they say it's a battle flag. who are you battling against? you're battling against abraham lincoln, you're battling against harriet tubman against frederick douglass, battleing against some of the best people in america. it was one of the bloodiest wars in human history to preserve slavery. why do you have to have that symbol flown in the face of people? you know i just know if my father were here my grandparents were here they would have a little bit of relief today that maybe people
understand all history does not have to be heralded in people's face on public property at the state capitols. >> you know for people who don't really know history, van, people would think this flag went up on the capitol grounds right after the civil war, which is indeed not the truth. this flag went up in 1961 and it was really, you know sort of a thumb or a finger if you will to the progress that was being made during the civil rights movement. that's why this flag really went up and so if you don't know your history, you may think that history is being whitewashed by taking it down but that's not true van jones. >> no it was a gesture of defiance against dr. king. it was a gesture of defiance against civil rights. it was a gesture of defiance to say brown versus board of education, the supreme court. you can't tell us what to do. we're going to hold onto segregation forever. that's what it was for. so somebody said it's about my
heritage 150 years ago. well for 100 years it wasn't up there. why did they put it up? they put it up because they once again wanted to say we do not believe you are equal as african-americans and nobody in america embraces those views so we should not embrace the flag as a public symbol. you can have it in a museum but not a public symbol. why would you celebrate a symbol like that? >> yeah and i wanted to tell our viewers, you can see there, we're looking at live pictures now from the emanuel ame church in charleston south carolina. sadly, the site of this horrific massacre that happened 23 days ago. my colleague charles blow joins me now. we cannot forget charles, the nine people who lost their lives in the search and what's really facileitated this happening this morning. >> absolutely not. i think it's really important to remember that there's blood spilled, and that is the kind of genesis for this moment that is the turning point for this
moment and you have to ask yourself is that a requirement for you to kind of remember your morality is that what is required for us to say that this is a rebel flag but it's also a flag that a lot of people find incredibly offensive and have had to live with for 50 years in the state of south carolina but also across the south. this flag is embedded in the state flags of other states and, you know, it's flown on state property in other states and these are places where, you know that is still the black belt of this country. the black belt is composed of the counties with the most african-american -- the highest percentage of african-american populations. that stretches from west texas all the way up into the carolinas and all across that region you still have these vestiges of a civil war that was fought largely about subjugation
of black people, and having to be reminded of that constantly is really incredible and then to require the spilling of the blood of nine innocent people to make people reorient themselves to say that this kind -- this iconography of hey hatred subjugation, cannot be on state ground is really extraordinary. part of me wants to say congratulations and applause. there's another part of me that finds this degrading, that finds the opera of this ceremony to bring it down to be slightly grating in and of itself. >> i'm with you. i'm a bit torn about it because there's a part of me that doesn't give a damn about this flag that this flag for me is a motivator to do better and to be
better but then the other part does care because as you said it's something that is in your face every single day for people who have to pass this and it's this iconic thing for many people and i know this is a stark example, but i discussed this with a number of people yesterday, some of my jewish friends and i said to them, what if someone was carrying a swastika or a flag and they had it displayed on their license plate or they had it on their cars or put it on their homes. how would that make you feel as a person who is of the jewish faith? how would that make you feel? and i think that is how african-americans feel when they see that and immediately i think, charles or van, it makes it relatable to people and they go hmm, i wouldn't like that. i would take -- that would give me pause. >> that is the sting of it on a personal level, where you shouldn't want to cause that sort of kind of psychic damage and pain to another human being
on a personal level, but then amplify, it move it up one step and say what if it is being flown on the grounds of the state capitol where i pay taxes? this is not a person -- another citizen choosing to exercise their constitutional right to be offensive. that is their right. i may disagree with you, but i will defend your right to express yourself. what i'm paying taxes to the state and the state itself has sanctioned this sort of offense, then that ratchets things up another level. >> right. van jones. >> yes. i think for me when you talk about this need for history, i want to just say something to our sisters and brothers who may be white, who may be southerners, who may feel this is once again america ganging up on the south, once again america not understanding.
listen i am a southerner. i understand. our region is put down. our region is disrespected. it's the last acceptable bigotry in hollywood to write into a script somebody who is stupid has a southern accent. nobody even blinks at that. so i understand. but we have an opportunity to bring the whole region together around different kinds of symbols, different kinds of iconography. the south is a potential for a tech renaissance. a lot of positive things are happening in the south, but as long as people can put that flag in people's face and use that as an excuse to commit murders and acts of terror, we're never going to be respected as a region. i want to say, yes, the history can be respected, it can be understood but this is not the way, and this symbol -- when you have people in europe who are using this flag because they can't fly the swastika legally in europe they're now using this flag from our region in europe to disrespect jewish
people and everyone else its time for us to get new symbols and really build a new south. >> right, but make sure that we never -- >> charles, i need to you stand by. i need to you stand by. i want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world, international viewers have joined us for this historic moment here in the united states in columbia south carolina, and you can hear people now, they are applauding and they are -- have gathered here at the capitol. some of the lawmakers here have gathered on the steps as well as family members of those who lost their lives at the ame church in charleston south carolina just three weeks ago. again, in just about two minutes, this flag will come down. it will be led by the governor of the state, nikki haley, who for -- quite honestly for a time did not stand up against this flag. she walked into the capitol and, you know the flag was flying but over the last couple of weeks, since the murders, really
the massacre of those nine people, she has had a change of heart and she's led the charge to bring this flag down and as some of the lawmakers here have said i don't always agree with the governor. i haven't agreed with her a lot in the past but on this particular issue i am lock step and standing with her. it is july 10th a historic moment and you should remember where you were when this happened and it's going to happen in just moments here. i'm joined by many of my cnn colleagues some of the family members of those who lost their lives, and some of the lawmakers here as well in south carolina. and i want to bring in now carl anderson, who is a representative and also part of the south carolina black legislative caucus and this is a day, i'm sure representative, that you have -- how long -- are you from -- originally from here? >> yeah. i'm from south carolina. i'm from georgetown south carolina. i'm in the low country on the coast. >> how long have you been fighting for this? >> we have been fighting for this for the last 20 years.
>> and you see this man behind you, someone just walked up and said the south is under attack and he's carrying the rebel flag. what do you think of that? >> well i think that he failed to realize what we're doing here today. we're taking this flag down. i marched in 2000. bishop john hurst adams was the bishop of the ame church in south carolina and we marched in 2000. i was not a legislator then. i got elected in 2004. in the 2000 it was more people than you see out here today, and we set the precedent for them to take down the flag off of the dome. the flag came off of the dome and it was placed on this pole by the monument. we have been fighting for 15 years since because that happened in 2000. >> so for people to think it's just over