John Allen Photography - Columbia, South Carolina Photographer | State House "Take the Flag Down" Rally

State House "Take the Flag Down" Rally

June 20, 2015  •  2 Comments

The crowd begins to gather around the State HouseState House Rally June 20, 2015The crowd begins to gather around the State House

 

After Dylan Roof committed those horrible, unimaginable crimes inside Emanuel AME Church down in Charleston, South Carolina, I learned there was a grass roots movement looking to host a unity rally on State House grounds in protest of the Confederate battle flag. I attended that rally with the intention of documenting and providing a series of images because I believed it was going to be a historical moment. My goal was simply to focus on the size, scale, and emotion of the day. Immediately after the rally I posted these photos on social media - in days they literally began taking hits from all over the United States and abroad from the many shares online.

My heart goes out to those who lost their lives and were affected by this horrible, senseless tragedy. The day of the first rally June 20, 2015, will be a day long remembered in my eyes. It was filled with anger, love, and emotions run high with one cause, a unity for peace and a call to remove the Confederate battle flag, which many long felt had no place on public grounds. I've had to revise this blog many times since so much has changed in such a short time.

A few days later, I ran into Tom Hall who spoke at the rally and he said he wanted to incorporate these images into later revisions of a documentary that he's been working on about the Confederate flag called Compromised. The documentary is a 90-minute film in the making telling about the unending saga of the Confederate flag, featuring South Carolina notables, by Columbia filmmaker Tom Hall.

After watching this film and thinking about the right thing to do, I allowed him to use these low-res images for his film and promotional material, which is raising money to donate to the Emanuel AME Church down in Charleston, South Carolina. Apparently, the BBC is doing a major story about these events and these images were sent to them as well.

Weeks after much public pressure and a call from Governor Haley to take the flag down, votes were finally passed by the South Carolina Senate and House on July 9, 2015. The Confederate battle flag was removed from State House grounds on July 10, 2015.

From the film page - "At the first rally held on June 20th, John Allen captured a notable moment where Tom Hall was delivering his speech to the masses of engaged on lookers.  That day, that rally, was the rally in which Governor Nikki Haley and others made a commitment to their constituents to push for the flag to come down."

Eventually, I'll be delivering these images to state archives.

Should you wish to make a comment please be respectful. This is not a political forum - it's a website about photography.
 

 

Emile DeFelice speaks to a growing crowd of people and camerasState House Rally June 20, 2015Emile DeFelice speaks to a growing crowd of people and cameras.

Emile DeFelice speaks to a growing crowd of people and cameras

 

Tom Hall addresses the crowds on the State House groundsState House Rally June 20, 2015Tom Hall addresses the crowds on the State House grounds

Tom Hall addresses the crowds on the State House grounds

 

 

Federal and state flags atop the State House dome, while the Stars and Bars resides out front.State House Rally June 20, 2015Federal and state flags atop the State House dome, while the Stars and Bars resides out front.

Federal and state flags atop the State House dome, while the Stars and Bars resides out front


 

Tom Hall addresses the crowds on the State House groundsState House Rally June 20, 2015Tom Hall addresses the crowds on the State House grounds

Tom Hall addresses the crowds on the State House grounds

 

 

Tom Hall addresses the community as the media watchesState House Rally June 20, 2015Tom Hall addresses the community as the media watches

Tom Hall addresses the community as the media watches

 

 

The media and crowd looks onState House Rally June 20, 2015The media and crowd looks on

The media and crowd looks on

 

 

So many faces, expressions, and signsState House Rally June 20, 2015So many faces, expressions, and signs

So many faces, expressions, and signs

 

Mari, Emile, and Tom face the crowd and camerasIMG_0140Mari, Emile, and Tom face the crowd and cameras Mari, Emile, and Tom face the crowd and cameras


 

Local photographers flocked to the event State House Rally June 20, 2015Local photographers flocked to the event

Local photographers flocked to the event

 

Local photojournalist, Sean Rayford at the Take The Flag down Rally, June 20, 2015.Local photojournalist, Sean Rayford at the Take The Flag down Rally, June 20, 2015.Local photojournalist, Sean Rayford at the Take The Flag down Rally, June 20, 2015. Friend and local photojournalist, Sean Rayford at the Take The Flag down Rally.
Sean covered many of the events back and forth from Charleston and Columbia over the past many weeks.


 

IMG_0171IMG_0171

Strange moment when I realized I captured several friends in this shot

 

 

Unidentified man holding a signState House Rally June 20, 2015Unidentified man holding a sign

Unidentified man holding a sign

 

 

View from the State House stepsState House Rally June 20, 2015View from the State House steps

View from the State House steps

 

It almost felt like these statues were at war with each otherState House Rally June 20, 2015It almost felt like these statues were at war with each other

It almost felt like these statues were at war with each other

 

 

Unidentified woman holding the American flagState House Rally June 20, 2015Unidentified woman holding the American flag

Unidentified woman holding the American flag


 

Unidentified woman takes photos with her mobileState House Rally June 20, 2015Unidentified woman takes photos with her mobile

Unidentified woman takes photos with her mobile

 

 

 

Many different faces and expressions State House Rally June 20, 2015Many different faces and expressions

Many different faces and expressions

 

 

Unidentified woman holding a sign with the American flagState House Rally June 20, 2015Unidentified woman holding a sign with the American flag

Unidentified woman holding a sign with the American flag

 

 

state house iphoneState House Rally June 20, 2015This last photo was taken with my Apple i-phone 5S This last photo was taken with my Apple i-phone 5S

 

 

Mari, Emile, and Tom face the crowd and cameras - colorizedIMG_0140-EditMari, Emile, and Tom face the crowd and cameras - colorized Mari, Emile, and Tom face the crowd and cameras - colorized for promotional materials


Comments

J Britt(non-registered)
Amazing work. Thanks for documenting this historic day in SC
I Bryan(non-registered)
John, These are exceptional (!) photographs.
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John Allen Photography
Columbia, South Carolina

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