CHARLOTTE -- Bree Newsome says she practiced climbing flag poles in Charlotte before stepping into the national spotlight to take down the Confederate flag at South Carolina's state Capitol.

"On a very personal level for me, it felt like a sense of triumph to remove and strip this symbol that has been used for such intimidation for so many years, to strip that of its power," said Newsome, who lives in Charlotte.

She says she felt called to take it down after nine black people were killed in a Charleston church.

"It's not an issue of white people versus black people. It's an issue of Americans who are ready for an end to racism and Americans who are ready to perpetuate it," said Newsome.

James Tyson helped Newsome take down the Confederate flag in Columbia.

"As an informed white person, I have a responsibility in helping dismantle racism as well," said Tyson.

He was her anchor as she climbed the flag pole and says more white people should step up to end racism.

"We can't let our most vulnerable communities be targeted and then leave them to pick up the mess," said Tyson.

Even though the Confederate flag still flies high at South Carolina's state House for now, Newsome hopes she made a difference in a push for civil rights, even just for a moment.

"It was a very powerful moment of average citizens taking a stand and saying this is not appropriate," said Newsome.