By Sky News US Team South Carolina's Senate has voted to remove the Confederate flag from outside the state capitol after nine black people were killed in a shooting last month. The Senate - where one of the victims, Rev Clementa Pinckney, served - voted by 37-3 for the measure after debating the bipartisan proposal on Monday. The state House of Representatives will next discuss the plan. A two-thirds vote is needed in the Republican-controlled legislature under state law to alter the US Civil War flag's position. The banner currently flies on a pole by a monument to Confederate soldiers in front of the state capitol. It hung for decades from the statehouse dome until civil rights activists' succeeded in having it taken down in 2000. The banner of the pro-slavery rebel states has been denounced as a symbol of hate since it was embraced by the white suspect in the Charleston church shooting. But many assert that the banner is a symbol of heritage and states' rights. A new CNN/ORC poll found that 57% of Americans see the flag more as a symbol of Southern pride than of racism. Republican State Senator Lee Bright wants South Carolina voters to decide the matter in a referendum.
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