After flying 126 years, the MS state flag is removed by lawmakers

Tuesday, 30 Jun, 2020

The Mississippi Senate has passed a bill to remove the current Confederate state flag and allow a commission to redesign a new one.

Republican Governor Tate Reeves said he will sign the bill, and the state flag will lose its official status as soon as he acts. He had previously said that he would not veto one - a more passive stance.

Reeves said he would sign the new flag bill.

"I would never have thought that I would see the flag come down in my lifetime", Democrat Barbara Blackmon, who is African-American, said on Saturday. However, the house tabled a motion Sunday to name the bill after Kylin Hill, a running back at Mississippi State whose opposition to the current flag made him a recent sensation on social media.

Earlier this week, Walmart announced it would no longer display MS state flags inside its store while the Confederate insignia remained.

If a majority voting that day accept the new design, it would become the state flag. Derrick Simmons, citing his family tree's deep roots in MS and said his sons, age 1 and 6, should not have to be educated, live and work beneath a Confederate symbol.

"By changing our flag, we don't abandon our founding principles", Republican Speaker Pro Tempore Jason White said ahead of the vote, according to The Washington Post.

Tate Reeves (R-MS) said the legislature had been "deadlocked" on the issue but he was seeing progress. Her amendment would have put the current flag and three alternate designs on a statewide ballot.

The Magnolia State's flag was adopted in 1894 and it features a red field topped by a blue "X" with 13 white stars. State voters will decide whether to adopt the new banner in the November general election. "If we put the current flag on the ballot with another good design, the people of MS will change it".

Princeton University said Saturday it was removing the name of President Woodrow Wilson from its public policy school and a residential college, calling the former U.S. leader a racist.

A growing list of businesses, cities, counties and other groups either stopped flying the flag or asked leaders to change it.

Legislators then opted not to set a flag design themselves.

"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. Some Mississippians cling to the flag and are angry that it is being replaced because, they say, it represents their heritage. Hopson said he is happy to have that mantra on the flag until a court of the proper authority tells the state to take it down.

"I know that when you walk into this building every day ..."