James Smith

Rep. James Smith, D-Columbia, speaks to another member on the floor of the House during debate over a bill removing the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds is debated in 2015. AP/John Bazemore

COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s House members took two historic votes after midnight that ordered the permanent furling of the Statehouse’s Confederate Flag.

What kind of rules allowed them to take two votes in a row?

Technically, the House was still in Wednesday’s session when they went past midnight. They worked for so long even Rep. Neal Collins, R-Easley, returned to vote after he saw too many close calls on amendments (Collins initially had to leave to catch a flight that was later canceled).

The House took their first vote just before 1 a.m. They then voted to adjourn for less than five minutes so that they could kick off Thursday’s session (since it was already after midnight).

By 1:03 a.m., the House was back in session, praying and pledging allegiance to the United States Flag. Three minutes later they finished taking attendance, and about 4 minutes after that they took the final vote on the bill that will remove the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse’s grounds.

Related:

A closer look at Rep. Mike Pitts (The Post and Courier)

SLED investigating death threats to legislators over flag issue (The Post and Courier)