The South Carolina Senate has voted to remove the Confederate flag from a pole on Statehouse grounds.
The 37-3 vote Monday allows the state to remove the flag and the flagpole where it flies as soon as it passes the House and is signed by Gov. Nikki Haley.
The takedown is not going to happen immediately though because the House still has to pass the same measure by a two-thirds vote, which is likely to be held Tuesday. If it does pass the measure, the flag and flagpole could be removed as soon as Gov. Nikki Haley signs the papers.
The flag would be lowered for the last time and shipped off to the state’s Confederate Relic Room, near where the last Confederate flag to fly over the Statehouse dome is stored.
Monday’s vote comes less than a week after the 15th anniversary of South Carolina taking the flag off the Capitol dome where it flew since the early 1960s and moving it to beside a monument honoring Confederate soldiers.
The vote also came a little over one week since a black activist climbed the flagpole at the South Carolina Capitol and removed the Confederate flag before state employees replaced the flag the same day.
Lawmakers had largely ignored the flag until the killing of nine black people during a Bible study at a historic African-American church on June 17.