A new Miss South Carolina was crowned Saturday night in Columbia. Daja Dial, Miss Greenville County, won the title at Township Auditorium. For the talent competition she sang “I Believe.”
Dial, a 22-year-old Clemson student from Spartanburg, was a Clemson cheerleader and was named Miss Clemson University in 2013. She was the second runner-up to Miss South Carolina in 2014, Lanie Hudson, also a Clemson graduate. She is the third African American to hold the title of Miss South Carolina.
During the Miss South Carolina pageant finals Saturday, Daja Dial was asked the hot button issue that’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue: whether Confederate memorabilia should be removed from the State House grounds.
“It’s a new South Carolina,” she said as the audience applauded. “We have made so much progress and it’s time to take it down. As Miss South Carolina I can lead this state into a new era. And that flag being taken down is representative of that. I’m in this moment right now for a reason. God has made this happen for a reason. I think it’s time for us to show what South Carolina is really like.”
Dial will compete in the Miss America Pageant on Sunday, September 14th in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
South Carolina has won the Miss America crown two times – 1957 and 1994. The Miss America Pageant will air live on the ABC network.