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S.C. Republican Jenny Horne Gives Tearful, Moving Speech in Flag Debate

by The Associated Press /  / Updated 

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Amid the impassioned debate over whether to keep the Confederate flag on the grounds of South Carolina's Capitol grounds, one Republican's emotional call for its removal stood out on Wednesday night.

As a group of Republicans fought to keep the flag, Rep. Jenny Horne scolded her GOP colleagues for stalling the debate with dozens of amendments.

"I cannot believe that we do not have the heart in this body to do something meaningful, such as take a symbol of hate off these grounds on Friday," Horne cried.

RELATED: Meet Jenny Horne, Lawmaker Who Took a Stand on the Confederate Flag

She recalled the funeral of her slain colleague State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church, who was gunned down with eight others as his wife and daughter locked themselves in an office.

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"For the widow of Sen. Pinckney and his two young daughters, that [not removing the flag] would be adding insult to injury and I will not be a part of it."

Opponents of removing the flag talked about grandparents who passed down family treasures and lamented that the flag had been "hijacked" or "abducted" by racists.

Horne reminded her colleagues that she was a descendant of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. She later said that she hadn't intended to speak but got frustrated with fellow Republicans.

Horne has deep roots in South Carolina, and has been in the legislature for the past seven years. She has championed everything from improving her states schools and roads to decriminalizing marijuana extract for medicinal purposes.

Early Thursday morning, after some 13 hours of debate, the House voted 94-20 to remove the flag.

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