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South Carolina Senate votes to remove Confederate flag, bill moves to House

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Posted at 4:39 PM, Jul 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-07 09:21:17-04

The battle flag is making its last stand in South Carolina.

The South Carolina Senate voted Monday to remove the Confederate battle flag from a monument on the Statehouse grounds in Columbia, The Associated Press reports.

The bill passed 37-3, well above the required two-thirds vote. Final approval is expected Tuesday.

But the battle is not quite over. The battle flag — or other flags representing the Confederacy — may find more support in the South Carolina House, The State reports. Gov. Nikki Haley said she supports removing the flag.

The Confederate flag, which once flew atop the Statehouse dome, received fresh criticism following the shooting deaths of nine people at a historic black church in Charleston on June 17. One of the dead was a state senator.

Many southerners consider the Confederate battle flag a symbol of southern pride. But to many, it’s a symbol of slavery and oppression. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the union in 1860.

Within days of the Charleston shooting, lawmakers in several southern states called for the removal of public Confederate symbols. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley removed Confederate flags from a state monument on June 24. In Mississippi, lawmakers are considering a redesign of their state flag, which includes a Confederate canton.

Retailers also backed out from carrying or selling the flag.

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk.

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