The South Carolina House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly early Thursday to remove the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds.
The final vote of 94-20 after some 13 hours of contentious debate is a stunning turn for the state that was the first to leave the Union and the site of the first shots in the Civil War.
The effort to remove the flag from the Statehouse grounds gained new moment following the shooting massacre of nine black members of the historic Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church after a Bible study in Charleston last month. The alleged shooter, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, featured the Confederate flag prominently in photos on a white supremacist website, prompting a new round of calls for its removal from public sites.
The state House passed the Senate version of the bill, approved Tuesday and written to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the Capitol. The bill will now go to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who has called for the flag’s removal, for her to sign.