With a Democratic congressman calling it a symbol of “racism, slavery and division,” the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation banning Confederate flags at cemeteries run by the Veteran Administration, writes NBC News.

In a vote of 265-169, including 84 Republicans, the House voted “to make it illegal to drape or hoist the flag prominently in national veterans’ cemeteries, including over mass graves,” reports the Washington Post. The measure must still be passed by the Senate. 

California Democrat Jarred Huffman authored the bill after the tragic shooting death of nine Black worshipers at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in June of last year, according to RT

“Over 150 years ago, slavery was abolished. Why, in the year 2016, are we still condoning displays of this hateful symbol on our sacred national cemeteries?” Huffman said on the House floor, Reuters reports.

The bill does not prevent families from placing small Confederate flags on individual gravesites. State run cemeteries, the Dept. of the Army, or the Dept. of the Interior are also not affected by the ban.

SOURCES: NBC NewsWashington PostRT | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter, Getty

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