South Carolinians hope flag’s removal brings racial healing to state

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July 10, 2015

A Confederate flag flies on the Statehouse grounds in Columbia, South Carolina, in this photo taken in June. Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill removing the Confederate flag from the grounds July 9. It was to be removed within 24 hours of the governor’s signature. (CNS photo/Mic Smith, The Catholic Miscellany)

A Confederate flag flies on the Statehouse grounds in Columbia, South Carolina, in this photo taken in June. Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill removing the Confederate flag from the grounds July 9. It was to be removed within 24 hours of the governor’s signature. (CNS photo/Mic Smith, The Catholic Miscellany)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (CNS) — The Confederate flag will no longer fly on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse, and people of faith pray the decision brings an era of racial healing to the state.

Members of the state House of Representatives followed the example of the state Senate and voted to remove the flag in the early morning hours of July 9 after more than 13 hours of emotional debate.

Calls to remove the flag, long a point of controversy, reached a fever pitch after the June 17 shooting of nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Dylann Roof, 21, the alleged gunman, posed for photos with the flag and expressed white supremacist views prior to the shootings.

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