The South Carolina House of Representatives approved a bill on Thursday to remove the Confederate flag from the Capitol’s grounds, after the flag was associated with a fatal shooting weeks ago that left nine people dead in Charleston.
Following a 13-hour debate the bill passed by a vote of 94 to 20, more than the two thirds needed for approval.
The bill will now go to the desk of South Carolina’s governor Nikki Haley who has said she will sign it into law.
Hayley had previously urged lawmakers to approve the bill and praised the legislators over her Facebook page, stating that, “Today, as the Senate did before them, the House of Representatives has served the State of South Carolina and her people with great dignity.”
“I’m grateful for their service and their compassion. It is a new day in South Carolina, a day we can call be proud of, a day that truly brings us all together as we continue to heal, as one people and one state,” she added.
White supremacist Dylann Roof is accused of killing nine Black worshipers in the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church on June 17.
Roof is suspected of shooting of nine black people during a Bible class at the church. He was arrested the day following the attack, and reportedly stated that he carried it out in order to start a “race war.”
Police said Roof intentionally spared some people so that they could describe what he had done. He is currently in solitary confinement pending trial.
Justice Department officials claim that the 21-year-old should also be charged with hate crimes.
Calls for the removal of the Confederate flag came after the young white male posted a racist manifesto online along with photos of himself holding the flag.
Many in the United States see the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate and racism due to its use by the alliance of slave-owning states in the American Civil War.