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By Harriet McLeod CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - South Carolina lawmakers were set to begin debate Monday on legislation to remove the Confederate battle flag that flies on the grounds of the state capitol in Columbia. The debate comes after numerous elected officials, such as Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, called for the flag's removal in light of the June 17 massacre of nine African-American members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston. The shooting took the life of the church's pastor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who was also a state Senator. Politicians and businesses are trying to banish the flag, widely viewed as a symbol of slavery, across the country in response to the Bible study killings.