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State senate bill would ban Confederate battle flag from Capitol grounds

"Confederate Flag" by J. Stephen Conn is licensed with CC BY-NC 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

A state Senate bill has been introduced to ban the Confederate battle flag at the state Capitol.

The flag was prominently displayed at protests in Lansing and during the insurrection at the US Capitol. A Republican lawmaker wore a Confederate flag facemask during a Senate session.

State Senator Sylvia Santana is a Democrat from Detroit. Her bill would forbid the display of the Confederate battle flag in the Capitol building and on the grounds.

Santana says the flag is a form of hate speech.

“We can’t continue down this path of oppressing people through hatred symbols that really are embedded in our country’s history,” said Santana.

The bill has been assigned to the Senate Government Operations Committee, chaired by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey. His spokesperson says Shirkey opposes limits on free speech, even when he disagrees.