- Associated Press - Saturday, June 20, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A Republican state legislator says it’s past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina’s Statehouse grounds.

Rep. Doug Brannon of Landrum told The Associated Press on Saturday that the flag is “not just a symbol of hate, it’s actually a symbol of pride in one’s hatred.”

Brannon says he will introduce a bill in December to move the flag and pole to the state’s Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum. December is the first opportunity for bills to be pre-filed for the legislative session resuming in January.

Brannon’s been in the House for five years. He says he’s always thought the flag should be removed but didn’t have the nerve to propose doing so until Wednesday’s massacre at a black church in Charleston.

A rally calling for the flag’s removal is planned for later Saturday at the Statehouse.

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