The Confederate flag hasn't flown over the South Carolina State House since summer, when a racially motivated mass shooting at a historically black church in Charleston killed nine people.
Now, a Democratic congressman is maneuvering to force removal of the flag from publicly funded military universities -- specifically The Citadel, a military college in Charleston that's the only institution in the U.S. where the Confederate flag is still on display.
U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), whose district includes The Citadel, has approached the House Armed Services Committee with an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would deny federal funding to institutions that display the Confederate battle flag. The Republican-controlled committee is likely to vote on the amendment late Wednesday.
"This flag, which never was the official flag of the Confederacy, is a symbol of hate, racial oppression, and resistance to the rule of law," Clyburn said in a statement Wednesday. "It has been used for over a century as a symbol of southern defiance and white supremacy; it was viewed as such by the perpetrator of the horrific shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston on June 17 of last year."
Clyburn noted that a Citadel graduate was one of those killed in the church massacre.
"Americans’ tax dollars should be directed to institutions free of symbols of hatred," said Clyburn, urging the amendment move forward. "Any vote to block or weaken the amendment is a vote to support the continued display of the Confederate battle flag at The Citadel and across the country."