The vote was 94 to 20. It only took 150 years after the end of the Civil War, but the South Carolina legislature finally voted to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Statehouse grounds. The South Carolina House voted late last night to take the Confederate flag down. The flag will come down after being placed on the South Carolina Statehouse grounds in 1961 in racist defiance to the Civil Rights movement and school integration.
A rally by members of the Ku Klux Klan is planned for July 18, a few South Carolina lawmakers mentioned they wanted the flag down before the KKK’s rally. The debate on the Confederate flag was sparked after the murder of nine African American parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston on June 17. The murderer, Dylann Roof, 21, was a white supremacist who celebrated the Confederate flag and several photos of him with the Confederate flag later surfaced.
In what is an embarrassing reminder of how many people feel the strong need to hold on to a history that included racism, white supremacy and chattel slavery, the debate over the flag included detours into “heritage” and comparisons to other issues having nothing directly to do with the Confederate flag.
But the backdrop of the Confederate flag debate in South Carolina included threats of economic boycotts and businesses that had had enough of the Confederate flag. That economic piece and the power of corporate involvement in politics surely won the attention of many South Carolina legislature.
South Carolina State Rep. Jenny Horne, who is a decendant of Jefferson Davis, broke into tears on the floor of the South Carolina House floor late last night during the Confederate flag debate as she spoke on why the Confederate flag needed to come down.
“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. For the widow of Sen. Pinckney and his two young daughters, that would be adding insult to injury,” Horne said in a riveting speech.
“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,” South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley wrote in a statement after the vote.