“I’m almost speechless to say how much this means to the African American community, how much this means to our children,” she told ABC News.
“This had to be divine intervention,” she said, noting how “it’s part of the faith ... there’s a belief that things don’t happen just for no reason and there’s no way this could happen for no reason,” she said.
“If you could see a good ending is that the lives of these people could change South Carolina forever,” she said.
Rep. Jenny Horne, a Republican who is a descendant of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, gave an emotional plea to her colleagues on the Senate floor on Wednesday, arguing for the flag's removal.
She told ABC News that prior to the shooting, she never foresaw the flag coming down.
"I never did ever, and the only reason it did, was because of tragedy, that’s only reason. For that I’m very sad. I think we’re gonna honor their legacy, Sen. [Clementa] Pinckney’s legacy at least something good came out of a tragedy," she said, referencing her former colleague who was one of the shooting victims.
There were three state senators who voted against the flag's removal, including Lee Bright who told ABC News that he thought it should have been taken up as a public referendum.
"I thought it was insane to blame the Confederate flag on what one homicidal maniac did in Charleston," Bright said of suspected Emanuel AME shooter Dylann Roof.
Alternatively, Democratic Rep. Justin Bamberg thought that the vote was a reflection on the current mood of the state, and a positive indication for the future.
"To sum up everything that’s happened over last 24 hours -- this is what progress looks like," he said.
Beyond historic significance, the removal of the flag could lead to an economic boost for the state, as Scott said that the next step for the NAACP is to lift their suggested boycott by certain organizations, including the NCAA.
The NCAA released a statement following the signing of the law ordering the removal of the flag, saying they "commend" the decision.
"For nearly 15 years we have specifically protested the flag by not allowing states like South Carolina to host pre-selected NCAA championships," NCAA Board of Governors chair Kirk Schulz said this afternoon. "With this impending change, and consistent with our policy, South Carolina may bid to host future NCAA championships once the flag no longer flies at the State House grounds."
“She’s a smart lady and she wouldn’t have been up there until she thought [she could get it done],” Scott said of Haley, who this afternoon signed the bill scheduling the removal of the flag.
The flag will remain in the air on the flagpole on the capitol grounds for one final night before being removed on Friday morning.