CHARLESTON, S.C., July 6 (Reuters) – South Carolina lawmakers took a major step on Monday toward passing legislation to remove the Confederate battle flag that flies at the state capitol in Columbia and has long been denounced by critics as a symbol of slavery. The bill passed a crucial second reading by a 37-3 vote in the state Senate where it faces one more vote on Tuesday before the bill is taken up by the lower House of Representatives. The political discussion comes after numerous elected officials, including Republican Governor Nikki Haley, called for the flag’s removal after the June 17 massacre of nine African-American churchgoers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston. (Writing by David…

CHARLESTON, S.C., July 6 (Reuters) – South Carolina lawmakers took a major step on Monday toward passing legislation to remove the Confederate battle flag that flies at the state capitol in Columbia and has long been denounced by critics as a symbol of slavery.

The bill passed a crucial second reading by a 37-3 vote in the state Senate where it faces one more vote on Tuesday before the bill is taken up by the lower House of Representatives.

The political discussion comes after numerous elected officials, including Republican Governor Nikki Haley, called for the flag’s removal after the June 17 massacre of nine African-American churchgoers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston. (Writing by David Adams; Editing by Bill Trott)

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South Carolina Senate Backs Bill To Remove Confederate Flag From Statehouse Grounds