South Carolina to remove Confederate flag

Gov. Nikki Haley signed the bill into law Thursday, saying the State House served its constituents with ‘great dignity.’

The South Carolina House voted 94 to 20 Thursday to remove the Confederate flag—which has flown on or near the Capitol more than 50 years—from the grounds.

The bill was passed after more than 13 hours of debate, including a tearful speech from Rep. Jenny Horne. Horne and others argued for a “clean bill” with no amendments, saying that adding them would delay the flag’s removal.

An excerpt of her remarks, from USA Today:

“Let me tell you, I attended the funeral of Sen. Clementa Pinckney and the people of Charleston deserve immediate and swift removal of that flag from this grounds,” Horne said. “I cannot believe that we do not have the heart in this body to do something meaningful such as take a symbol of hate off these grounds on Friday. And if any of you vote to amend, you are insuring that this flag will fly beyond Friday, and for the widow of Sen. Pinckney and his two young daughters, that would be adding insult to injury and I will not be a part of it.”

The flag will be displayed in the state’s Confederate Relic Room along with other Civil War artifacts.

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