South Carolina state Rep. Jenny Horne, whose impassioned speech from the House floor is being credited for helping lead lawmakers to vote Wednesday night to bring down the Confederate flag flying on the Statehouse grounds, says she is overwhelmed by the vote.
"The flag had been flying my whole entire life," Horne, a Republican, told CNN's "New Day" on Thursday. "If you would have asked me last year if we would ever remove the flag from the Statehouse grounds in my lifetime, I would have said there's no way."
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Wednesday night, as tempers were fraying, Horne nearly broke into tears while she pleaded with her fellow lawmakers to bring down the flag.
"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," she said. "And if any of you vote to amend [this bill], you are ensuring that this flag will fly beyond Friday.
"And for the widow of Sen. Clementa Pinckney and his two young daughters, that would be adding insult to injury, and I will not be a part of it."
Pinckney and eight members of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston were shot to death three weeks ago Wednesday during a Bible study at the church. Dylann Roof, a suspected white supremacist who often posed in social media photos with the Confederate flag, has been charged in the deaths.
Horne, during her speech, also decried the idea that the flag should keep flying as a symbol of the South's heritage and traditions.
"I am a descendant of [Confederate President] Jefferson Davis, OK?" said Horne Wednesday night. "But that does not matter. It's not about Jenny Horne. It's about the people of South Carolina who have demanded that this symbol of hate come off of the Statehouse grounds."
The bill to remove the flag is expected to be signed by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, the Republican governor who called for the flag's removal, on Thursday. The flag is expected to come down the following day.
And even though it took a tragedy to bring down the flag, Horne said Thursday that if there is a "silver cloud to the dark lining of the tragedy, we have met tragedy with triumph and defeat with purpose."
Further, she said that after the vote, she is "so proud to be a South Carolinian and proud of what South Carolina has done to move this state forward so we can become the progressive state that we are."
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