Removal of contentious confederate flag approved by South Carolina
The vote by House of Representatives in South Carolina means the confederate flag could come down from capitol grounds. This is after long and touchy debate.
The approval, by 93-27, comes after a similar move in the Senate. Once it goes through a final procedural vote, the bill will then be passed to the governor for signature.
Nikki Haley, the republican Governor is in support of the flag’s removal – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33457169 (follow this link for additional information).
The move represents an amazing reversal in state that was the very first to leave the union in 1860 and then raised the flag at the capitol over 50 years ago as a way of protesting against civil rights movement.
The move was made on Thursday, after close to 13 hours of contentious debate. Also, it came after fatal shootings of 9 black church members including a state senator, at a Bible Study in Charleston. Dylann Roof, the 21 year old alleged gunman is believed to support white supremacy and posed in numerous photos next to the flag.
Haley said it was “a new day in South Carolina, a day we can all be proud of” after the bill was approved.
She said that the measure, “truly brings us all together as we continue to heal, as one people and one state”.
The campaign for removal of the flag from the South Carolina capitol grounds had dragged on into the night with the House of Representatives refusing to adjourn after 12 hours of debate.
As the clock moved towards midnight on Wednesday, the chamber voted 111-3 in a marathon session to decide on the future of a banner symbolizing racism and slavery for many, but for others symbolizing southern heritage.
As the republicans made proposals for dozens of amendments that sought to soften impact of the proposed law to move the flag to a museum, tempers were frayed.
At every turn, they were beaten back by a slightly bigger, bipartisan group of legislators who believed there should be no delays.
Legislators in South Carolina were stuck debating issues like whether flowers should be planted where flagpole bearing the flag stands at the state house in Columbia.
Changing senate bill could have meant months or weeks of delays, most likely blunting momentum that has tremendously grown since the massacre it the church.
Republican Jenny Horne, reminded her colleagues that she was a descendant of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, then scolded fellow party members for delaying the debate.
As she recalled the funeral of her colleague, state senator Clementa Pinckney, the Pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church, gunned down as his wife and daughter hid away in an office, she cried.
She shouted “For the widow of Senator Pinckney and his two young daughters, that would be adding insult to injury and I will not be part of it”- http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/09/confederate-flag-south-carolina-approves-removal-of-contentious-symbol (Read more on this link).
During a break later, she said she had no intentions of speaking but got frustrated with her fellow republicans. Opponents of the flag removal talked of grandparents who passed down family treasures and they lamented the flag had been “abducted” or “hijacked” by racists.