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Woman removes Confederate flag

The Confederate flag has been temporarily removed from in front of the South Carolina Statehouse.

An unidentified black woman was about halfway up the more than 30ft steel flagpole just after dawn when State Capitol police told her to come down. Instead, she continued up and removed the flag before returning to the ground.

The woman and another man who had got past the wrought-iron fence surrounding the flag were arrested.

The flag, which is protected by state law, is expected to be raised again today in time for a rally by flag supporters.

Calls for removing the flag have been renewed since a white man shot and killed nine people at a Charleston, South Carolina church last week.

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