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BANNER OF CONTROVERSY
nm Lwmuuctrifte state via AP
South Carolina Sen. Gerald Malloy talks about his friend and fellow senator,
Clementa Pinckney, whose desk still remains draped in black, before the South
Carolina senate passed the second reading of a bill to remove the Confederate
flag from the State House grounds, Monday, July 6,2015, in Columbia, S.C.
The South Carolina Senate voted Monday to remove the Confederate flag from
a pole on the Statehouse grounds, though the proposal still needs approval from
the State House and the Governor.
S .C. Senate gives final
OK to removal of
the Confederate flag
BY JEFFREY COLLINS
COLUMBIA, S.C. ? The South Carolina Senate gave final approval Tuesday to
bill removing the Confederate flag from a pole in front of the Statehouse, sending the pro
posal to the House, where it faces a less certain future.
The banner at the Capitol came under greater scrutiny over the last few weeks afte
authorities said a gunman, motivated by racial hatred, opened fire inside a black churcl
June 17, killing nine people.
The suspect was photographed several times holding a Confederate flag and bumin;
an American flag, and one of the slain was state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who was tb
head pastor at the church.
Tuesday's 37-3 vote came after a day of debate in which several white senators sail
they had come to understand why their black colleagues felt the flag no longer represent
ed the valor of Southern soldiers but the racism that led the South to separate from tfr
United States more than 150 years ago.
Senators then stood as Pinckney's widow came in the chamber. Each member cam
up to talk to her and offer condolences.
Two of the three senators voting against the bill were the only people to speal
Tuesday. Republican Sen. Lee Bright called the vote an attempt to revise history.
"At the end of the day, it will not change anything. What we will have done is tak
people that respect their Southern heritage, and we will have kicked them in the teeth.
Debate in the House was likely to have begun Wednesday, and it's far from clea
when a vote may be taken. Republicans met behind closed doors Monday and struggle
to reach a consensus on what to do next.
One idea being floated is to keep the pole and put a different flag on it: the U.S. flag
the South Carolina flag or a flag that may have been flown by Confederate troops but i
not as divisive as the red banner with the blue cross and white stars.
A survey of lawmakers by The Associated Press, The Post and Courier of Charlestoi
and the South Carolina Press Association showed two-thirds of House members want t
bring the flag down, but the survey didn't include specifics.
Democrats, meanwhile, say both the flag and flagpole must go. House Minorit
Leader Todd Rutherford said.
"It will become the new symbol," Rutherford, D-Columbia, said of any flag that goe
up beside the monument to Confederate soldiers. "It will be the new vestige of racism.'
Business leaders and Republican Gov. Nikki Haley agree. If the bill passes and Hale
signs it, the flag would be lowered and shipped off to the state's Confederate Relic Roorr
not far from where the last Confederate flag to fly over the Statehouse dome is stored.
On Tuesday, Pinckney's desk was draped in black cloth, as it has been since he an
eight others were fatally shot during Bible study at Emmanuel African Methodist Churcl
Lawmakers interrupted their brief debate Tuesday to welcome Pinckney's widow
"This state loved Sen. Pinckney," state Sen. Gerald Malloy, a Democrat, sail
moments before the chamber took a break so members could walk to the back rail am
greet his widow. "This state loves you and your girls, and they love the entire Pinckne;
family. We keep our arms wrapped around you and this family forever. It's the least ths
we can do for our brother, Clementa."
On Monday, the Senate rejected three of its own amendments. One would have put
different Confederate flag on the pole. A second would only fly the flag on Confederat
Memorial Day, and the third would leave the flag's fate up to a popular vote.
Sen. Danny Verdin, a Republican who was a member of the Sons of Confederat
Veterans before his election in 2000, voted against the bill. He said he doesn't want peo
pie living today to suffer the same fate of being forgotten as Confederate ancestors ar
"It concerns me, if we don't continue to show.that reverse and respect for those am
their emblems and their monuments who have gone before us ? those who come afte
us might treat us the same way," Verdin said.
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Winston-Salem's Architectural Heritage
An encyclopedic survey of historic buildings, factories, churches,
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Meet author Heather Fearnbach and
purchase books at these upcoming talks:
? July 16, Noon: Reynolda House Museum
of American Art, 2250 Reynolda Road
? July 21,6 p.m.: Rupert Bell Community
Center, 1501 Mt. Zion Place
? July 28,6 p.m.: Sprague Street Community
Center, 1350 East Sprague St.
? August 4,6 p.m.: Southsidc Library,
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? August 18: Miller Park Recreation Center,
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