The Confederate flag next to South Carolina’s Statehouse
Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina's House of Representatives and Senate voted on Tuesday to begin a discussion to consider removal of the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds as calls for its departure spread across the nation, the Associated Press reports.

A day after Republican Gov. Nikki Haley asked lawmakers to consider the issue in the wake of the massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., the state House of Representatives voted 103-10 to approve a measure allowing for debate on the flag. The state Senate also agreed by voice vote to allow discussion about the flag's removal. 

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The House vote ended with a standing ovation after Democrat and Republican leaders jointly sponsored the measure to advance the debate, according to AP. 

Following the vote, lawmakers prayed for state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of the Emanuel AME, who died in the tragedy with eight other congregants, according to reports.

"I ask that in the memory of Mr. Pinckney that we are generous in spirit, gracious in our conversation and please—even if we disagree, let's agree to disagree agreeably," said Democratic Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter. "Those nine families have shown us how to do it."

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South Carolina isn't the only state considering actions in connection with controversial Confederate banners and emblems. The suspect in the Emanuel AME shooting, Dylann Storm Roof, had posed with a Confederate flag in newly surfaced photos and allegedly admitted to wishing to embark on a "race war." 

Mississippi's House Speaker Phillip Gunn, a Republican, has called for a Confederate emblem to be taken off his state's flag.

Both Republicans and Democrats in Tennessee are demanding that the state Senate shed a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader.

In Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, is calling for replacement of vanity licenses bearing the Confederate flag.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is joining with Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin in advocating the removal of a statue of Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president, from the Kentucky state Capitol rotunda. 

Read more at Yahoo News

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