Climbing gear used by artist-activist Bree Newsome Bass when she scaled the flagpole at the S.C. Statehouse to remove the Confederate battle flag four years ago may be headed to the Smithsonian Museum.
In a June 27 Twitter post, she wrote: "This was my first time seeing them (the equipment) since that day. Everything was still there, tagged and marked as evidence (my name was misspelled). These items will now be housed at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C."
This was my first time seeing them since that day. Everything was still there, tagged and marked as evidence (my name was misspelled). These items will now be housed at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. pic.twitter.com/4SRC0wB1Lo— Bree Newsome Bass (@BreeNewsome) June 27, 2019
A spokesman for the Smithsonian could not confirm that the items, including her harness, lines, tools and other gear, had been acquired by the museum.
Newsome Bass did not respond to a request for comment.
Her assistant said in a email to The Post and Courier, "Bree appreciates your interest, but is holding off from doing interviews on this topic until she has a full understanding of how they’ll be used."
The filmmaker, musician and activist is best known for her act of civil disobedience on June 27, 2015, at the Statehouse during a rally 10 days after the Emanuel AME Church shooting. Some applauded her actions, while others criticized her lawlessness.
"In the name of Jesus, this flag has to come down,” she declared from the flagpole as police gathered beneath her. “You come against me with hatred and oppression and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today.”
Newsome Bass was arrested, but a public fundraising campaign quickly covered the cost of bail and legal fees. Public figures such as filmmaker Michael Moore and social justice activist the Rev. William Barber praised Newsome Bass for her courage and pledged support.
Less than an hour after she took down the Confederate flag, officials restored the banner. On July 9, almost two weeks later, then-Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill authorizing the removal of the flag, which came down the next day.
The collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture includes several objects from South Carolina: a slave cabin from Edisto Island, historic photographs and documents, textiles, slave badges, sweetgrass baskets by Mary Jackson, pottery, a hand-carved drum from the Sea Islands, Civil War memorabilia, furniture from the home of Robert Smalls, desks and a stove from the Hope School.