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South Carolina Lawmakers Have Voted to Remove the Confederate Flag from the State House Grounds

The State Senate approved the flag's removal in a 37-3 vote on Monday afternoon.
July 6, 2015, 8:38pm

Flag photo via Flickr user Richard Elzey

Read: The Dangerous Culture of White Possession in the Carolinas

On Monday afternoon, the South Carolina state Senate voted 37-3 to take down the Confederate flag flying outside the Capitol. But though state lawmakers, and the general public, are overwhelmingly in support of removing the flag, the legislation still requires a two-thirds vote in the state House of Representatives and approval from the governor before the Stars and Bars come down from the statehouse grounds.

That now seems all but inevitable. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has been outspoken about her desire to remove the flag and has said she will sign the bill. A recent survey asking lawmakers their stance on the vote suggests that the bill will pass the House of Representatives later this week.

Some Republican lawmakers have expressed an interest in replacing the Confederate flag with a different flag—either the American flag, the South Carolina state flag, or another flag used by Confederate troops in the Civil War but doesn't carry the same connotations as the rebel flag. But Democrats refuse to consider any flag flown by the Confederacy.

The only lawmaker to speak in support of the flag Monday was Republican state Senator Lee Bright, who launched into a rant about how the legislature should be rising up against the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling, not worrying about flags.

"We can rally together and talk about a flag all we want but the devil is taking control of this land and we're not stopping him," Bright said. Good luck with all that, Senator.