Members of the South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday planned to continue debating a Senate-passed resolution that would remove the Confederate flag from capitol grounds to a museum. The House voted 93-18 Tuesday to send a Senate version of the legislation to the floor for a second reading. Following debate of the measure and consideration of amendments, the removal of the flag is expected to win overwhelming approval.
The House session begins at 10 a.m. EST. To watch a live stream of the debate, click here. A national debate over the symbolism of the Confederate flag was sparked last month by the shooting deaths of nine black worshipers at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Shooter Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white American who told authorities he wanted to start a race war, was reportedly inspired by the Civil War era Confederate symbols. The South Carolina Infantry Battle Flag -- a blue X over a red background, embedded with 13 white stars – has over time become a symbol flow by supporters of racial segregation in the Deep South and by white supremacy groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.
The title of the South Carolina Senate bill reads as follows:
A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 1-10-10(A) OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE FLAGS AUTHORIZED TO BE FLOWN ATOP THE STATE HOUSE AND ON THE CAPITOL COMPLEX, TO REMOVE REFERENCES TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA INFANTRY BATTLE FLAG OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, TO PROVIDE FOR THE PERMANENT REMOVAL OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA INFANTRY BATTLE FLAG OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA FROM ITS LOCATION ADJACENT TO THE CONFEDERATE SOLDIER MONUMENT, AND TO PROVIDE THAT UPON ITS REMOVAL, THE SOUTH CAROLINA INFANTRY BATTLE FLAG OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA SHALL BE TRANSPORTED TO THE CONFEDERATE RELIC ROOM FOR APPROPRIATE DISPLAY.
The South Carolina House was also expected to resolve several state budget provisions that were vetoed by Republican Gov. Nikki Haley. A Republican-backed measure banning state law enforcement agencies from enforcing Islamic sharia law is also on the House calendar for Wednesday. The title of the House bill reads as follows:
A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 14-1-250 SO AS TO PREVENT A COURT OR OTHER ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY FROM ENFORCING FOREIGN LAW INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, SHARIA LAW IN THIS STATE FROM A FORUM OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES OR ITS TERRITORIES UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.