A look at calls to remove Confederate symbols across South

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Graham Lets SC Governor Take Lead in Confederate Flag Debate

In the wake of a massacre at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, a bipartisan mix of officials across Southern states are calling for the removal of Confederate flags and other symbols of the Confederacy.

Here's a look at what's happening and what's being proposed:

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South Carolina

Lawmakers took the initial steps Tuesday toward removing the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds, a day after Republican Gov. Nikki Haley reversed course and called for the divisive symbol to come down. The flag has flown in front of the state Capitol for 15 years after being moved from atop the Statehouse dome. The momentum in South Carolina sparked further calls from politicians across the state and country for flags and Confederate symbols to be removed from public displays in other states.

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Kentucky

The Republican nominee for governor, Matt Bevin, says the state should remove a statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis from the Capitol rotunda, where it stands a few paces from the statue of another native Kentuckian, Abraham Lincoln. Democratic nominee Jack Conway, the state's attorney general, said he agreed with Haley's call to remove the battle flag but said he would have to think about whether to remove the Davis statue.

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Mississippi

Leaders of the Republican-controlled state are divided on whether to alter the Mississippi flag, a corner of which is made up of the Confederate battle flag. House Speaker Philip Gunn said Monday the emblem is offensive and needs to be removed. Mississippi voters voted 2-to-1 in 2001 to keep the flag, and Gov. Phil Bryant has said he supports those election results. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said Tuesday he thinks voters should decide on any changes.

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Tennessee

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers called for a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and an early leader in the Ku Klux Klan, to be removed from an alcove outside the Senate chambers at the Statehouse. The bust, inscribed with the words "Confederate States Army," has been at the Capitol for decades.

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Virginia

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is moving to have the Confederate flag banished from state license plates. He said Tuesday that he's asked the state attorney general to take steps to reverse a 2002 federal court decision that said Virginia could not block the Confederate Veterans from displaying its logo — which includes the Confederate flag — on state license plates.

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Texas

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas was within its rights to refuse to issue personalized license plates showing the Confederate flag. The court, in a 5-4 decision, rejected a challenge on the grounds of freedom of speech. The Sons of Confederate Veterans had sought a Texas plate bearing its logo with the battle flag. Similar plates are issued by eight other states that were members of the Confederacy and by the state of Maryland. In Virginia, McAuliffe cited this ruling in his call for banning the flag from plates in his state.

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Maryland

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz says he wants to change the name of Robert E. Lee Park. Kamenetz says he directed county officials to start looking at changing it from the name of the Confederate general last month, and he issued a statement reiterating that point Monday, shortly after Haley's announcement in South Carolina. A spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she supports changing the name and is willing to work with the county to find an appropriate new one.

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Confederate flag protests in SC
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A look at calls to remove Confederate symbols across South
Theron Foster, of Columbia, S.C., protests outside the South Carolina statehouse, Wednesday, July 8, 2015, in Columbia, where the House was debating a Senate bill that would remove the Confederate battle flag from the statehouse grounds. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Hundreds of people gather for a protest rally against the Confederate flag in Columbia, South Carolina on June 20, 2015. The racially divisive Confederate battle flag flew at full-mast despite others flying at half-staff in South Carolina after the killing of nine black people in an historic African-American church in Charleston on June 17. Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white male suspected of carrying out the Emanuel African Episcopal Methodist Church bloodbath, was one of many southern Americans who identified with the 13-star saltire in red, white and blue. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 23: Ernest Branch (L) hugs a man carrying a Confederate flag (who didn't want to provide his name) saying, that he respects the fact the guy likes the flag but that he is against the flag flying on the Capitol grounds on June 23, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. The South Carolina governor Nikki Haley asked that the flag be removed afer debate over the flag flying on the capitol grounds was kicked off after nine people were shot and killed during a prayer meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley hugs U.S. Congressman James Clyburn after she called for legislators to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State House during a press conference on Monday, June 22, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. (Tim Dominick/The State/TNS via Getty Images)
Protesters hold signs as they chant during a rally to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. The shooting deaths of nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C, have reignited calls for the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia to come down. Rallies are being held, and politicians have joined the chorus of voices calling for its removal — an opinion that has carried political risks in the state in the past. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 23: Asha Jones attends a protest in support of a Confederate flags removal from the South Carolina capitol grounds on June 23, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. The South Carolina governor Nikki Haley asked that the flag be removed after debate over the flag flying on the capitol grounds was kicked off after nine people were shot and killed during a prayer meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 23: Sonya Anderson asks for the removal of the confederate flag as she attends a protest in support of a confederate flags removal from the South Carolina capitol grounds on June 23, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. The South Carolina governor Nikki Haley asked that the flag be removed after debate over the flag flying on the capitol grounds was kicked off after nine people were shot and killed during a prayer meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JUNE 20: Anti-Confederate flag protesters demonstrate outside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Church where nine people were shot to death earlier this week June 20, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Suspect Dylann Roof, 21, was arrested and charged in the killing of nine people during a prayer meeting in the church, one of the nation's oldest black churches in the South. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A man wears a t-shirt representing the Confederate flag as hundreds of people gather for a protest rally against the Confederate flag in Columbia, South Carolina on June 20, 2015. The racially divisive Confederate battle flag flew at full-mast despite others flying at half-staff in South Carolina after the killing of nine black people in an historic African-American church in Charleston on June 17. Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white male suspected of carrying out the Emanuel African Episcopal Methodist Church bloodbath, was one of many southern Americans who identified with the 13-star saltire in red, white and blue. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters hold signs during a rally to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. The shooting deaths of nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C, have reignited calls for the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia to come down. Rallies are being held, and politicians have joined the chorus of voices calling for its removal — an opinion that has carried political risks in the state in the past. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Christian Mergner, of Columbia, S.C., holds a sign during a rally to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. The shooting deaths of nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C, have reignited calls for the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia to come down. Rallies are being held, and politicians have joined the chorus of voices calling for its removal — an opinion that has carried political risks in the state in the past. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Protesters hold signs as they chant during a rally to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. The shooting deaths of nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C, have reignited calls for the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia to come down. Rallies are being held, and politicians have joined the chorus of voices calling for its removal — an opinion that has carried political risks in the state in the past. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Kirt Moody, of Columbia, S.C. holds a sign during a rally to take down the flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. For years, South Carolina lawmakers refused to revisit the Confederate flag on Statehouse grounds, saying the law that took it off the dome was a bipartisan compromise, and renewing the debate would unnecessarily expose divisive wounds. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Protesters stand on the South Carolina Statehouse steps during a rally to take down the Confederate flag, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Lennos Lemon, 12, sits on the South Carolina Statehouse steps during a rally to take down the Confederate flag, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Salley Rickenbacker, of Columbia, S.C., holds an U.S flag as the Confederate flag flies nearby during a rally to take down the flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel AME Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 22: The Confederate flag flies on the Capitol grounds after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced that she will call for the Confederate flag to be removed on June 22, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Debate over the flag flying at the Capitol was again ignited off after nine people were shot and killed during a prayer meeting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Protesters stand near a flying Confederate flag during a rally to take down the flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel AME Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Protesters holds signs during a rally to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel AME Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Protesters close their eyes in silent prayer as they stand on the South Carolina Statehouse steps during a rally to take down the Confederate flag, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Protesters stand around a flying Confederate flag during a rally to take down the flag at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. on Saturday, June 20, 2015. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Protesters stand near a flying Confederate flag during a rally to take down the flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel AME Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Protesters holds signs during a rally to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel AME Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Mariangeles Borghini holds a burned Confederate flag during a rally to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel AME Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Protesters hold signs in front of the Confederate flag during a rally to take down the flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel AME Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Protesters stand around a flying Confederate flag during a rally to take down the flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel AME Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Sheila DiCioccio holds a sign during a rally to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel AME Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Tom Dombrowski, left, of Charleston, S.C., holds a sign during a rally to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel AME Church shooting. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
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