With the S.C. House of Representatives voting in favor of taking down the Confederate flag, all that remains is for Governor Nikki Haley to sign the bill, and the flag will come down from the State House grounds.
The debate surrounding the flag is one of historical significance. The flag has flown on State House grounds since 1961, although it was moved from its place on the dome of the State House in 2000.
Legislators debated for thirteen hours, starting at 10:00 Wednesday morning and going until 1:00 Thursday morning, according to State House records. Passionate speeches were given from both sides, discussing the historical implications of the flag as well as its impact today.
According to Reuters, patience wore thin as the night dragged on. Representative Cezar McNight (D) said, “Are we going to tarry in the foolishness of 150 years ago?”
Perhaps the most dramatic moment of the night was Representative Jenny Anderson Horne’s (R) speech, in which she said through tears, “If we amend this bill, we are telling the people of Charleston that we don’t care about you. We are saying that we do not care that someone used this symbol to slay…innocent people who were worshipping their God.”
According to CBS News, Governor Nikki Haley posted a status on Facebook shortly after the vote commending the passage of the bill. The post drew a host of comments, many of which were negative and called the passage of the bill “cowardice.” Many others were supportive though, speaking of pride in South Carolina government for moving forward with bringing down the flag.