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Larry Wilmore toasts Charlotte flag activist Bree Newsome with juleps

Charlotte’s Bree Newsome climbs a flagpole to remove the Confederate battle flag at in front of the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C., on June, 27, 2015.
Charlotte’s Bree Newsome climbs a flagpole to remove the Confederate battle flag at in front of the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C., on June, 27, 2015. AP

Comedy Central’s Larry Wilmore hailed Charlotte activist Bree Newsome as “the coolest winner of capture-the-flag ever” when she appeared on “The Nightly Show” Thursday.

Wilmore, whose show airs at 11:30 p.m., has been cheering since Newsome climbed a flagpole and removed the flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds on Saturday. He greeted the 30-year-old musician and racial justice activist with a mint julep, a reference to an earlier skit in which Wilmore and other cast members impersonated South Carolina lawmakers sipping the Southern libation while “talking about talking about” removing the flag.

Newsome told Wilmore that 10 people from North Carolina and South Carolina planned and executed the event. She said she volunteered to make the climb.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it.’ Had I climbed a pole before? No,” she said. “Once I got up there and grabbed it, it was just like, ‘Yes – take me to jail!’ ”

James “Jimmy” Tyson, a Charlotte environmental activist who also is 30, accompanied Newsome and stood at the base of the pole. Both were charged with defacing state property, a misdemeanor that carries penalties of up to three years in prison or a fine of up to $5,000 or both. They were released on $3,000 bond, with a trial date set for July 27.

Both appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday morning. Later that night, Wilmore ran through a list of possible superhero names for Newsome, including The Ascender and Queen Bree.

“I think the proper superhero name is Bree Newsome,” he concluded.

Friday morning, Newsome posted a photo of herself on a plane, with the message, “NYC was an amazing experience. ... Now back to the front lines.”

Helms: 704-358-5033;

Twitter: @anndosshelms.

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