The Confederate flag flying on South Carolina’s statehouse grounds is set to come down after the House voted 94 to 20 to remove it. The bill, passed early Thursday, now heads to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk, and she is expected to sign it.
After more than 13 hours of debate — which became increasingly contentious as the night wore on — House Republicans and Democrats agreed not to amend the legislation with a proposal that threatened to make final passage more difficult.
Just before 1:00 a.m., the lawmakers approved the legislation 93 to 27 in a critical second-reading vote. Minutes later, the bill easily cleared the two-thirds threshold needed for it to officially pass the chamber, a hurdle the state Senate cleared earlier this week.
The most passionate and poignant speech in favor of the bill came from Rep. Jenny Horne (R), a “lifelong South Carolinian and a descendant of Jefferson Davis:”
Gov. Nikki Haley will sign the bill into law at 4 P.M. today (Thursday), and the flag will ceremonially come down at 10 A.M. tomorrow (Friday) to be moved into a Confederate relic museum nearby.
The decision paves the way for the end of a 53-year-long term of some version of the flag flying at the capitol. Back in 1962, a Confederate naval flag was placed on the dome of the capitol. After decades of calls by civil rights groups for the banner to be taken down, a compromised was reached in 2000 to place the Confederate battle flag at its current location at the Confederate Soldier’s monument.