S.C. Senate gives final approval to remove Confederate flag; bill moves to House

Randy Saxon, left and Wayne Whitfield, both of Anderson, S.C., discuss the Confederate flag on the South Carolina Statehouse grounds with Brodrick S. Hall of Atlanta, right, on Monday, July 6, 2015. Lively discussions on the flag took place on the grounds took place outside the state house where lawmakers debated whether the flag should be removed from the downtown Columbia complex. ( AP Photo/ Meg Kinnard)

COLUMBIA, South Carolina  — The South Carolina Senate has given final approval to a bill to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the Capitol.

The 36-3 vote Tuesday now sends the bill to the House, where it faces a less certain future. Republicans met behind closed doors Monday and struggled to reach a consensus on what to do next.

The Senate bill would remove the Confederate flag flying in front of the Statehouse and the flagpole as soon as the governor signs it.

Republican Gov. Nikki Haley urged lawmakers to remove the flag after the killing of nine black people in a historic African-American church in Charleston last month by a gunman police say was motivated by racial hatred.

The suspect was photographed several times with the Confederate flag.

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