COLUMBIA, S.C. – Downing of a Flag, a two-hour, two-part documentary film that focuses on the Confederate Battle flag and its impact on the people, politics and perceptions of South Carolina and beyond, will be distributed nationally by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) starting Monday, July 12 – two days after the six-year anniversary of the flag’s removal from the State House grounds. Parts one and two will premiere locally on South Carolina ETV (SCETV) Thursday, July 22 at 9 p.m. and Thursday, July 29 at 9 p.m., respectively.
With firsthand interviews featuring various perspectives and a wealth of historical footage, Downing of a Flag traces the symbol's controversial relationship with the Palmetto State, the South and the nation, exploring its true meaning and how a racially motivated 2015 church shooting, which killed State Senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney and eight black parishioners, served as the catalyst for the flag’s long-debated removal.
A co-production between SCETV, Strategic Films and Susie Films, Downing of a Flag features interviews with former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young; U.S. Congressman James Clyburn; former South Carolina Governors David Beasley and Jim Hodges; and current and former state legislators Gilda Cobb-Hunter, Maggie Glover, Jenny Horne, Gerald Malloy, Kay Patterson, Todd Rutherford and Vincent Sheheen. The film also features interviews with Jennifer Pinckney, widow of Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting victim Senator Clementa Pinckney; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Kathleen Parker; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Berry Howes; former South Carolina State Representative and current CNN Correspondent Bakari Sellers; activist Bree Newsome Bass; Georgia State University history professor Maurice Hobson; investigative journalist Jerry Mitchell; flag expert Michael Green; former U.S. Congressman Ben Jones of Georgia; and Sons of Confederate Veterans Commander-in-Chief Larry McCluney Jr., among others.
As a PBS-distributed project, Downing of a Flag will also be available for streaming on the PBS app and on PBS.org. Viewers who wish to engage with the film online can do so on social media by following and liking @DowningOfAFlag on Facebook and Instagram.
In conjunction with the South Carolina premiere of this important project, SCETV and the ETV Endowment of South Carolina will be hosting four community engagement events across the state the last two weeks of July. At each event, select segments of the film will be shown, and a panel will be on-hand to discuss those segments, as well as engage with audience members. All four events will begin at 6 p.m. Please see specific event details and registration links below:
- Tuesday, July 20 in Charleston, S.C. at the Sottile Theater at the College of Charleston. This event is open to the public; tickets can be reserved starting Friday, July 9 at 10 a.m. Those that would like to reserve a ticket at that time can do so by clicking here.
- Thursday, July 22 in Columbia, S.C. at the South Carolina State Museum Planetarium.
- Tuesday, July 27 in Florence, S.C. at the Performing Arts Center at Francis Marion University. This event is open to the public; for registration and additional event information, click here.
- Thursday, July 29 in Spartanburg, S.C. at Wofford College's Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts in the Jerome Johnson Richardson Theatre.
Although reserving a ticket is required to attend these events, all tickets are free of charge. Currently, the events in Charleston and Florence are open to the public. Tickets to the events in Columbia and Spartanburg will be made available should space allow for additional attendees.
Members of the press who wish to attend any of the four events should contact Jeremy Cauthen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, any reporters who would like to screen Downing of a Flag should also contact Cauthen. The film will be available for screening through July 29. A press kit featuring production stills, cast and crew bios, episodic and series descriptions and more can be downloaded here. To view a two-minute trailer promoting the film, click here.
“A key component of our mission at SCETV is to facilitate important discussions around issues facing our state and its communities. Throughout much of the last two centuries, no issue has caused as much debate as the use and meaning of the Confederate Battle flag. It is my hope that viewers – both here in the Palmetto State and beyond – will tune in, hear the various perspectives offered and gain a better understanding of the lives and experiences of our fellow Americans.” –SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett
“This project was presented to us by Duane Cooper and State Representative Terry Alexander nearly two years ago. Since that time, it has been a privilege to work collaboratively with Strategic Films and Susie Films to bring this important story to life.” –‘Downing of a Flag’ Executive Producer and SCETV Director of National Content and Regional Operations Don Godish
“We met in the fall of 2019 to discuss the possibility of this film. The immediate consensus was that few subjects generate more passion and divisiveness, and virtually nothing is more important. I am grateful to have been part of a wonderful team dedicated to telling a fascinating, complicated and painful history.” –‘Downing of a Flag’ Director and Susie Films President Scott Galloway
“The events surrounding the flag in South Carolina have mirrored, possibly led, public opinions and thoughts nationally. Two thousand fifteen was a defining moment for our state and nation. Our goal with this film was to respectfully give a complete and accurate account of this pivotal moment in U.S. History and explain why the flag is a symbol that touches at the heart of what it means to be an American.” –‘Downing of a Flag’ Executive Producer and Strategic Films Owner Duane Cooper
FIVE FAST FACTS:
- Downing of a Flag, a two-hour, two-part documentary about the Confederate Battle flag and its 2015 removal from the South Carolina State House grounds, will premiere locally on SCETV Thursday, July 22 at 9 p.m.
- The project will also be distributed nationally by PBS, which means viewers will also be able to stream the show on the PBS app and on PBS.org.
- Downing of a Flag is a co-production between SCETV, Strategic Films and Susie Films
- In conjunction with the South Carolina premiere of this important project, SCETV and the ETV Endowment of South Carolina will be hosting four community engagement events across the state the last two weeks of July.
- Members of the press that wish to screen Downing of a Flag should contact Jeremy Cauthen at email@example.com before the July 29 deadline.
Original production funding for Downing of a Flag is provided by: