The South Carolina Senate voted 37-3 Monday to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, the New York Times reported. The measure still needs approval from the House and Gov. Nikki Haley, who already has voiced her support.

Although the Confederate flag was removed from the Capitol in the 1960s and moved near a monument honoring Confederate soldiers, it returned to the Statehouse grounds in 2000. It moved out of the shadows to return to public consciousness as a visible symbol -- for some -- of racism, slavery and the anti-civil rights movement after Dylann Roof shot and killed nine black churchgoers June 17 at a historic African-American church in Charleston, the Emanuel AME, triggering demands for the flag's removal. 

Others claim the Confederate flag is merely a symbol of Southern pride and Southern heritage.




North Carolina activist Brittany "Bree" Newsome scaled the flag pole and took it down June 27, inspiring the hashtag #KeepItDown, although it was promptly replaced by officials.

brittany newsome Brittany "Bree" Newsome takes down the Confederate Flag from a pole at the Statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, June 27, 2015. Photo: Reuters/Adam Anderson

The Senate rejected two amendments Monday that called for flying the Confederate flag only on Memorial Day and another that offered to let the public vote on whether it should stay put. 

Some House Republicans have not yet said how they will vote, including Speaker Jay Lucas, the New York Times reported. There is speculation the proposal will have a more difficult time getting passed in the House.

"We now have the opportunity, the obligation to put the exclamation point on an extraordinary narrative of good and evil, of love and mercy that will take its place in the history books," said Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, the Times said.