The SC House passed second and third readings of the bill to take down the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds early Thursday morning.
The readings were on a clean bill with no amendments, something that was needed to bring the flag down quickly.
The debate was long, emotional, full of passion and often contentious. Debate started before at approximately 11:30 a.m. and continued past midnight with an afternoon break from approximately 2:15 – 4:30 p.m.
In the end, House members worked their way through delaying tactics to pass both readings by votes well above the two-thirds threshold needed to take the flag down.
Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to sign the legislation before the day is done. The bill calls for the flag to come down within 24 hours of the governor’s signature.
There was a lot of talk about the Confederate flag being a symbol that was hijacked by hate groups. If the flag was, in fact, hijacked that hijacking was first done by Southern politicians who opposed the Civil Rights movement.
That point was made over and over through the long day.
One speaker after another from both sides of the aisle said, “that flag needs to come down.”
But, many attempts to slow down the fast track the bill was on came through attempted amendments.
The SC House initially faced the possibility of dealing with over 60 amendments to the bill that passed the SC Senate.