(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — The fate of the Confederate flag on the South Carolina state capitol grounds is up for debate on Monday as lawmakers launch into the controversial topic.
The state’s general assembly is returning to Columbia to debate the use of the flag as well as finalize budget issues.
No decision is expected to be finalized on Monday, but the topic is going to be raised in both the state Senate and the state House of Representatives.
Making any changes regarding the flag requires a two-thirds super-majority in both chambers under the terms of the 2000 deal that moved a square version of the flag from the top of the Statehouse dome to an area on the grounds that has a monument to Confederate soldiers, according to the Associated Press.
The local paper, The Post and Courier, the South Carolina Press Association and the Associated Press surveyed lawmakers and found that the necessary two-thirds needed to vote to remove the flag have spoken out in favor of its removal.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has already publicly stated that she wants the flag removed, and while she has no legislative power to do so, her support for the removal has helped push the issue forward.
Supporters of both sides of the cause have been demonstrating at the capitol in Columbia in recent weeks, ever since the man who allegedly shot and killed nine people in a famed black church in Charleston was found to have pictures of himself with the Confederate flag.
On June 27, one woman took the matter into her own hands and scaled the flag pole and removed the flag, only to be arrested and have the flag put back up. The woman, Bree Newsome, faces a $5,000 fine and up to three years in prison if convicted of defacing a monument but social media supporters have already raised more than $125,000 for her.
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