MS gov would sign bill to remove Confederate symbol from state flag

Monday, 29 Jun, 2020

The recommended design can not include the Confederate battle flag and must include the words "In God We Trust".

"It's time to change the state flag", the 52-year-old wrote at the beginning of a brief Twitter thread. NASCAR banned the Confederate flag at all of its events, protesters toppled a statue of Confederate Gen. Albert Pike in Washington, D.C., artists and demonstrators transformed a Confederate monument in Richmond, Va., and members of Congress have proposed renaming Army installations with Confederate names and removing Confederate symbols. A commission would design a new flag that can not include the Confederate symbol and that must have the words "In God We Trust".

MS came closer to changing its state flag Saturday when more than two-thirds of the state Legislature voted to suspend rules to allow a vote on removing the Confederate battle emblem from its design.

Saturday's vote was the big test, though, because of the margin.

ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities. Barbara Blackmon, who is African-American, said. He smiled broadly after Saturday's vote and said, "This is such a metamorphosis".

The current flag has remained divisive in a state with a 38% Black population.

House Speaker Philip Gunn spoke Thursday before the vote on the stairs inside the ornate Capitol, with coaches and athletic directors behind him from the state's public universities.

On Saturday, both chambers of the Republican-led state congress voted to begin the process of changing the flag. Six counties, 25 cities, all eight public universities, all 15 community colleges and seven private universities have made a decision to not fly the flag.

"I was born here in Laurel, I grew up here in Laurel, went to school here, and all the time of my growing up here, there was this flag and there was this attitude", he said.

It means a bill to change the state flag can now be formally introduced.

Governor Tate Reeves said he will sign the flag bill. The two-thirds vote for a suspension of rules indicated the Legislature would have the votes to override any veto, he said in a Facebook post. The new design would be put on the ballot November 3.

"I urge the Mississippi legislature to vote tomorrow Friday, June 26 on ONE NEW FLAG, one that represents ALL of the citizens of Mississippi", Hill added in a third tweet. If voters approve of the new design, it will become the new state flag.