Marking a pivotal moment in the nation’s southern history, the South Carolina House of Representatives approved a bill on Thursday (July 9) to oust the Confederate flag from the the State Capitol.
According to the Associated Press, the bill was passed along from the Senate, who backed the proposal on Monday (July 6) in a 37 to 3 vote. After 13 hours of deliberation, the House then voted on the flag’s removal in a 94-20 landslide. Following the growing tension circling the Methodist Episcopal Church shooting and Dylann Roof’s indictment, the decision is expected to see much praise for its timeliness. The ball is now in Senator Nikki Haley’s court, who has already expressed her support for the flag’s removal. Within 24 hours after her signature to the bill, the flag will be pulled down.
“It is a new day in South Carolina, a day we can all be proud of, a day that truly brings us all together as we continue to heal, as one people and one state,” Governor Haley said in a statement.
Per usual, the decision was met with passionate opposition from mostly Republican enthusiasts. Citing reasons such as family keepsakes, members like Rep. Mike Pitts claim that the flag represents ardent soldiers who fought against Yankees over land invasions and that those soldiers “should be respected” through the flag.
The move could have almost been predicted after the House’s move to ban the flag from all federal cemeteries on Wednesday (July 8). Taking steps forward, Haley is now expected to sign the bill with the swiftness, but has still not stated when the signing will take place.
South Carolina was the first state to leave the Union in 1860, reinstating the flag at the Capitol over 50 years ago in protest against the Civil Rights Movement.
Photo Credit: Getty Images