COLUMBIA, S.C., June 24 (UPI) -- The coffin of Clementa Pinckney, a South Carolina state senator and pastor of a church where he and eight others were shot, arrived Wednesday at the state house where a much-debated Confederate flag still flies.
A horse-drawn caisson brought Pinckney's body to the South Carolina State House, where he was scheduled to lie in state for four hours. When the coffin arrived, the Confederate flag was flying as part of a Civil War memorial on the state house grounds.
That particular Confederate flag -- and indeed the Confederate emblem in general -- has faced much backlash in the wake of the racially motivated shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, which left nine people dead.
Images spread of the alleged shooter posing next to Confederate flags, which are often associated with white supremacist groups.
Some argued flying the Confederate flag at the South Carolina State House while Pinckney lies in state is offensive.
On Monday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called on the state assembly to debate permanently removing the flag from the state grounds.
"For good and for bad, whether it is on the Statehouse grounds or in a museum, the flag will always be a part of the soil of South Carolina," she said. "But this is a moment in which we can say that that flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state."
Pinckney's funeral was scheduled to take place Friday at the College of Charleston's TD Arena.
U.S. President Barack Obama will delivery Pinckney's eulogy, and first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will also be in attendance.
The first of the funerals for the other eight victims are scheduled to take place Thursday.
Also killed in the church shooting were Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, 54; Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lee Lance, 70; Depayne Middleton-Doctor, 49; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Daniel Simmons, 74; Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45; and Myra Thompson.