HOT SPRINGS, N.C.

Bree Newsome, the Ignite NC activist who scaled the South Carolina State House flagpole to remove the Confederate flag, spoke to Presbyterian News Service July 11 prior to a surprise guest appearance at the Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, N.C.

Driven to action by escalating violence against people of color and the June 17 murder of nine black parishioners at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, her June 27 act of civil disobedience galvanized a movement calling for the removal of the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism.

Jimmie Tyson, who dressed as a construction worker and collaborated in the effort to remove the flag, was also present for the moderated panel discussion.

Newsome spoke of her motivation for the action, her reaction to the S.C. legislature’s vote to remove the flag and the ongoing need for racial reform, activism and advice for people of faith hoping to be part of racial justice efforts.

Editor's Note: An updated version of the Bree Newsome video was added to this article June 16, 2015.