COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Senate gave key approval Monday to remove the Confederate battle flag and its flagpole from the Statehouse grounds.
The 37-3 vote came after several hours of debate and defeat of a handful of proposed amendments. Under Senate rules, it must pass by a two-thirds majority again; that vote will take place Tuesday.
State lawmakers began debate Monday on the fate of the Confederate battle flag, less than three weeks after a deadly shooting at a predominantly black church brought renewed attention to the controversial Southern symbol.
The Senate proposal, which would remove the flag from a Confederate monument on the Statehouse lawn, would go to the House for consideration. The bill requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate to be sent to Gov. Nikki Haley, who strongly supports it.
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