MS to Change State Flag After Legislature Passes Bill

Robert E. Lee Monument

According to MSNBC, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said he will sign a bill to change the state flag if the Legislature votes to remove the Confederacy emblem.

Mississippi's current flag was adopted in 1894 - almost thirty years after the Civil War had ended - and is the only state flag to show the emblem of the Confederate states. The state's governor is expected to sign the bill to remove the current flag into law.

"Mississippi needs to have a flag that is great for all the citizens in our state".

"The argument over the 1894 flag has become as divisive as the flag itself and it's time to end it", Reeves wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday.

"I feel very confident I know what the flag represents for a lot of people in the state and around the world", said Sen.

The Senate followed that vote by approving the bill with a vote of 37-14. "While the issue continues to be discussed, we've made the decision to remove the MS state flag from display in its current form from our stores".

But the violent death of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis sparked nationwide protests that reached MS and shined new light on the state flag. All of the state's public universities and several cities and counties have stopped flying it because of the Confederate symbol.

The commission will be comprised of nine members, with three selected by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, three by Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann and three by Governor Tate Reeves.

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In 2000, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that the flag lacked official status.

The design that is to be submitted by September 14, 2020, will appear on the November ballot for the people of MS to vote on.

MS lawmakers are sending up their decision to remove the Confederate emblem from their flag.

Hill said Monday that he would sit out the Bulldogs' 2020 season if the flag were not changed.

Democratic state Sen. Derrick Simmons of Greenville, who is African American, said the state deserves a flag to make all people proud. "And so, when I was doing the executive order, all these thoughts and all these feelings just came rushing back and I began to reminisce about some of the things I endured here in Laurel and I had gone from that position to be in a position of the mayor, to be able to take that flag down and I wanted to do it to bring the people of Laurel together".

If the bill passes, a commission will design a new flag, to be be voted on in November. In the last referendum on the state flag in 2001, almost two-thirds of voters chose to keep it as is. He said he did not want to take the right of the people to vote on the flag. Nevertheless, the current flag's opponents rejoiced at winning the main point: ridding the state of a reminder it once fought on behalf of a government dedicated to slavery.

"The battle for a better MS does not end with the removal of the flag, and we should work in concert to make other positive changes in the interest of all of our people", said Winter, a Democrat who was governor from 1980 until 1984.

"In the name of history whether, we black or white, rich or poor, Democrat or Republican, I ask you today to stand in the name of history".

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