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NAACP votes to end its 15-year economic boycott of South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The NAACP has passed a resolution lifting its 15-year economic boycott of South Carolina, a day after that state took down a Confederate battle flag flying near its Statehouse.

The civil rights group approved the measure Saturday at its national convention in Philadelphia to end the boycott of tourism and other economic activity. The boycott began in 2000 during debate over the flying of the Confederate flag atop South Carolina's Statehouse dome. The boycott continued after it was moved to a flagpole on Statehouse grounds.

NAACP President Cornell William Brooks told CBSN his organization believes the flag should be "moved to a place of study," and no longer fly in "a place of honor."

The flag's removal comes weeks after the shooting deaths of nine people in a historically black church in Charleston. Dylann Roof, a white man who was photographed with the Confederate flag, is charged in the shooting deaths, and authorities have called the killings a hate crime.

Flag supporters remain, saying it symbolizes Southern heritage.

South Carolina's leaders first flew the battle flag over the Statehouse dome in 1961 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. It remained there to represent official opposition to the civil rights movement.

Decades later, mass protests against the flag by those who said it was a symbol of racism and white supremacy led to a compromise in 2000 with lawmakers who insisted that it symbolized Southern heritage and states' rights. The two sides came to an agreement to move the flag from the dome to a 30-foot pole next to a Confederate monument in front of the Statehouse.

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