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John Bazemore, Associated Press
Protesters on both sides of a debate over removing the Confederate battle flag from the grounds on the South Carolina statehouse demonstrate in front of the capitol Wednesday, July 8, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. The House is expected to debate a measure Wednesday that would remove the flag from the capitol grounds.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The latest on the Confederate flag debate in the South Carolina (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

The U.S. House has voted to ban the display of Confederate flags at historic federal cemeteries in the Deep South.

The low-profile move came late Tuesday after a brief debate on a measure funding the National Park Service, which maintains 14 national cemeteries, most of which contain graves of Civil War soldiers.

The proposal by California Democrat Jared Huffman would block the Park Service from allowing private groups from decorating the graves of southern soldiers with Confederate flags in states that commemorate Confederate Memorial Day. The cemeteries affected are the Andersonville and Vicksburg cemeteries in Georgia and Mississippi.

Pressure has mounted to ban display of the flag on state and federal property in the wake of last month's shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

12:20 p.m.

The South Carolina House is hearing proposed amendments to the bill to remove the Confederate flag passed by the Senate.

The first amendment was Republican Rep. Mike Pitts' proposal to redesign the fence around the flagpole where the rebel banner flies. The redesign would honor Stand Watie, a leader of the Cherokee nation who rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Confederacy. It was defeated on a 90-29 vote. There are six more amendments on the desk after more than two dozen were withdrawn.

Pitts said he is friends with many House members in both parties, and he hopes they can remain friends when the debate is over.

"Folks in Charleston, I feel your grief," Pitts said.

Pitts' other withdrawn amendments included removing all monuments on Statehouse grounds, having a popular vote on whether the Confederate flag should stay and requiring that the U.S. flag fly upside down above the Statehouse dome.

11:45 a.m.

The South Carolina House opened its session to debate the Confederate flag with a speech from the representative whose district included the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church where nine people were killed during Bible study.

Rep. Wendell Gilliard said he wanted the House to remember why they were there a month after their regular session was supposed to end.

"We cannot ever add to what was their sacrifice and their example. They gave their last level of devotion to their church and in doing so, stand as an example of Christian love," Gilliard said.

Gilliard was surrounded by nearly three dozen lawmakers, most of them Democrats.

All House members gave Gilliard a standing ovation when he finished, and Speaker Jay Lucas asked for a moment of silence.