Confederate flag to be removed from US state capitol

Confederate flag to be removed from US state capitol
# 10 July 2015 02:51 (UTC +04:00)

The move follows the massacre of nine blacks in an historic Charleston church in June that has again brought racial tensions in America to light.

The alleged white perpetrator of the crime, who police say was motivated by hate, is seen in photographs holding the Confederate flag, a contentious symbol for many who see it as a representation of bigotry and anti-black sentiment.

Others, however, maintain that the flag is a source of historical pride.

The state’s House legislature passed a bill early Thursday that requires the flag to be removed 24 hours after Haley signs it into law.

“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,” State Rep. Jenny Horne said during an emotional speech in the state legislature.

Between sobs she urged lawmakers to vote for the flag’s removal, recalling the memory of Rev. Clementa Pinckney who was also a state senator and one of those killed by Dylann Roof in Charleston.

"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!" she yelled.

Horne says that she is a descendant of Jefferson Davis, who was president of the Confederate during the civil war, making the flag’s removal all the more personal.

The state senate previously passed the bill, clearing the way for the governor’s signature.

Haley is expected to give her signature to the bill Thursday afternoon.

The flag flew on the state capitol dome from 1961 when it was erected on the 100th anniversary of the American civil war and later stayed in protest to the civil rights movement, until 2000 when it was moved to the state capitol grounds.