Updated at 2:15 a.m. ET Thursday: Final Vote
Early Thursday morning, lawmakers in the South Carolina House approved a Senate bill that removes the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds. The measure passed by a two-thirds margin and now goes to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk. The Associated Press reports: As House members deliberated well into the night, there were tears of anger and shared memories of Civil War ancestors. Black Democrats, frustrated at being asked to show grace to Civil War soldiers as the debate wore on, warned the state was embarrassing itself.
The idea of removing the Confederate battle flag from a prominent place in front of South Carolina’s Statehouse gets a crucial test Wednesday, when the state House of Representatives votes on a bill that would put the flag in a relic room.
Today’s vote is pivotal: under South Carolina’s legislative system, bills must be read and voted upon three times. The first vote is normally to introduce the bill; that happened Tuesday, after it was approved by the Senate. The third vote is often a formality.
By mid-day, the bill had been stalled by a host of amendments offered by opponents to removing the Confederate banner. One measure calls for planting flowers in the spot where the flag now flies.
We’ll update this post with news from Columbia, S.C., where the House is considering the bill. The action comes two weeks after Gov. Nikki Haley and other leaders called for the flag to come down.
article by Bill Chappell via npr.org