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Confederate Battle Doesn't End in South Carolina as Petitions Spread Across Country

The flag debate may be over in South Carolina, but across the country, politicians and regular citizens alike are clamoring to remove similar icons.

As South Carolina prepares to remove the Confederate flag from the state Capitol on Friday, politicians and regular citizens across the country are clamoring to eliminate similar iconography.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Thursday signed into law a measure to take down the Confederate battle flag after weeks of long, emotional debate. It will be permanently lowered at 10 a.m. ET.

The flag at South Carolina's Capitol has been the most heavily debated, but it is unlikely to be the last Confederate flag to be removed from prominence.

At least 730,000 individuals have signed more than 80 petitions related to Confederate symbols, Emily Figdor, platform campaign manager with, told NBC News Thursday.

The petitions run the gamut from ending celebrations of Confederate holidays, removing monuments and statues, renaming streets, and removing the flag from state license plates.

"We saw a surge of energy around members wanting to come together against this symbol," Figdor said. She added that even as the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives worked to approve legislation calling for the flag's removal, support for petitions continued to pour in. has had at least 177 new petitions containing the word "Confederate" since the massacre at Charleston, South Carolina, church revived the debate over the embattled flag, according to Kini Schoop, the site's director of media relations.

“You can see that there was a surge a couple days after the tragedy as discussion of the flag came to the front," said Schoop. "Then you see a second surge after Haley called for flag to be taken down."

Related: Amid Backlash, House GOP Scraps Vote on Confederate Flag Imagery

One petition on calling for the removal of the Confederate pattern from the Mississippi state flag had received nearly 66,000 signatures as of Thursday night.

Jennifer Gunter, who started the petition on June 20, is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and is currently pursuing a PhD in American History at the University of South Carolina. The attack on the Charleston church resonated with her.

"I was at a conference in Charleston a week before the massacre at Mother Emanuel and it struck a lot of chords with a lot of people," Gunter, 43, told NBC News.

"I wanted Mississippi to come into the 21st century," she said. “I love my state and I think we deserve better."

Related:South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Signs Bill Removing Confederate Flag

But Greg Stewart, executive director of the Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library in Biloxi, Mississippi, says the petition and others like it are out of touch with how the general public feels.

"There’s no public support for any of it," he said Thursday night. Stewart cited a 2001 statewide election where Mississippians voted by a 2-1 margin to keep the design on the flag.

"There is a genuine affection for the emblem in all quarters," he said.

Meanwhile governors in at least five states have expressed support for removing Confederate symbols from license plates following the church shooting. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s office said it would pursue the removal of the Sons of Confederate Veterans license plates, according to NBC affiliate WBAL.

At a press conference on Thursday, Hogan said he also supported taking steps to address concerns over the symbol in general.

Related: GOP Scrambles to Address Racial Issues Amid Trump, Flag Debates

"Where do we draw the line?” he asked at the conference, according to WBAL. "Some of this is our history."

The governors of Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia have also moved to remove the flag from state license plates.

Meanwhile, two students at the University of Texas at Austin have begun a movement calling into question the role of statues honoring Confederate figures at their college that grew rapidly in response to the massacre at Charleston.

Seniors Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu, president and vice president of the University of Texas Student Government, created a petition on calling for removal of the statue the weekend after the attack, and immediately received support from fellow students, Rotnofsky said. Currently the petition has more than 3,700 supporters.

"The university has progressed so much and this is something we have to now deal with," Rotnofsky said.

Related: Eight Confederate Icons Have Places of Honor in the U.S. Capitol

In response to the petition, University President Gregory Fenves established a task force to discuss the future of the statue and others like it on campus. The group, which includes both student leaders, is expected to give Fenves recommendations in August, Rotnofsky said.

NBC affiliate KXAN reported that three statues, including that of Jefferson Davis, were defaced and tagged with "Black Lives Matter" on June 23. The same message was spray-painted on a Confederate statue in Charleston two days earlier.

"While I don't condone the use of vandalism, it really did show that there are passionate feelings towards this," Rotnofsky said.

Gunter, who called for changing Mississippi’s state flag, said she hopes petitions like hers continue to encourage discussion on race and heritage in the United States.

"I hope that this can move us into a place where we better understand our neighbors and where we can look through each other’s eyes and see that everyone heritage is important," she said. "There has been a lot of important discussion concerning race. It’s beautiful."