The South Carolina House has approved a bill to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, and the flag could be removed within days. The move early Thursday came after more than 13 hours of debate.
The House approved the Senate bill by more than a two-thirds margin. The bill now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, who supports the measure.
“Today, as the Senate did before them, the House of Representatives has served the State of South Carolina and her people with great dignity,” Haley said in a statement following the House vote. “I’m grateful for their service and their compassion. It is a new day in South Carolina, a day we can all be proud of, a day that truly brings us all together as we continue to heal, as one people and one state.”
Efforts to have the flag removed intensified amid a June 17 shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston in which nine people were killed.
The flag has been flying at the Statehouse since the early 1960s – serving, for many, as a reminder of a racist past. Others have argued that the flag reflects Southern pride.
The vote marks a stunning reversal in a state that was the first to leave the Union in 1860 and raised the flag again at its Statehouse more than 50 years ago to protest the civil rights movement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: ABC News – Top Stories South Carolina House Approves Bill Removing Confederate Flag