The South Carolina senate today took the first step to removing the Confederate flag that waved proudly for years above the statehouse with full legal protection for years—even as the nation mourned a racially-motivated shooting this month in Charleston.

Even so, the 37-3 vote doesn’t ensure the flag will come down immediately—the bill must first pass the house before it reaches the desk of Gov. Nicki Haley, who called for the flag’s removal in the days after the shooting. That final vote is expected to occur on Tuesday.

(As the AP takes pains to point out, “lawmakers had largely ignored the flag until the killing of nine black people during a Bible study at a historic African-American church.”)

The Statehouse flag did come down, albeit briefly, last week when a hero activist scaled the flagpole and removed it. She was immediately arrested and jailed, and the flag was replaced—for now.

But as it turns out, someone’s having an even worse time with this flag thing:

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