Denis Jr. Tangney/iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — The South Carolina Senate moved forward on Monday with a plan to take the Confederate battle flag down off the statehouse lawn.
State Senators spent much of the day offering history lessons about the Civil War, and perspectives about a proposal to fold up the Confederate flag flying outside and put it into a museum.
By the end of the day, the idea passed by a 37-to-3 margin.
Senator Vincent Sheheen, a co-sponsor of the legislation to remove the flag, said it should be removed because it’s “the right thing to do.”
Senator Harvey Peeler however disagreed. He supports the flag and said he will vote against the bill. As for suggestions the flag be moved to a museum, he said, “The greatest museum in the state of South Carolina is right here, the state house capitol complex is the greatest museum in the entire state.”
Senator John Courson also defended the flag, saying that he has never perceived the flag as a racial symbol.
“I regret, deeply deeply regret that right wing extremist groups have hijacked that banner and turned it into a political symbol of hate,” he said.
Monday’s vote was the second of three readings in the Senate; another vote is scheduled for Tuesday before the matter is sent to the State House of Representatives.
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