Miss. House passes bill to change state flag

Ross Houston
June 29, 2020

Holland, who is white, said he voted in the 2001 election to keep the flag but he now sees the rebel symbol as harmful.

The decision over whether to keep or remove the Confederate battle emblem on the MS flag could come to a vote in the coming days, AP reports, noting that Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said he would sign the bill to no longer include the symbol.

Governor Tate Reeves, who had sought to side-step the debate, said Saturday that he will sign the bill into law once it passes.

After the votes were announced in each chamber, applause broke out.

House Bill 1796 requires the current flag to be removed within 15 days of the bill's passing.

This move is obviously well overdue.

The day after Hill's tweet, the powerful Mississippi Baptist Convention, an association of the state's Baptist churches, called to change the flag's design.

"This is a historic day for Mississippi".

Rep. Edward Blackmon Jr. "If they send me a bill this weekend, I will sign it", Reeves wrote on Facebook.

For me, this tattered flag was a reminder of the fragility and resilience of my home state and its people, of the ties that hold it together and the winds that have torn it apart.

"It ought to be something that we all feel a sense of pride that when we see it, we know that that's about us", he said.

The flag, long a point of political contention in MS, was seen by many as a symbol of hate.

Two years before that, MS voted overwhelmingly to retain its current flag, hailed by its defenders as a proud symbol of southern heritage and history. "We embrace them more fully by doing what is right". We're not moving further away from our Founding Fathers' visions.

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 United States leader a racist.

"We are not betraying our heritage", Gunn continued.

Democratic Sen. David Jordan, who is African American, has pushed for decades to change the flag.

Blake Hinson decided not to wait to see if the momentum of recent activism was enough to make a change. "I don't see how that makes me a bad human being". If you're frustrated, I'd encourage you to think of what today means to a rising generation of Mississippians.

While I don't have Confederate ancestors, I'm a Southerner.

"Now that this is gone, they will begin to look and see who the real MS is, and see that we are more than what that flag represents", Johnson said.

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.

Not giving a damn about that does in fact make you a awful human being.

"The bottom line is the image of our state hangs in the balance", Gunn said. "We talk about the business impact, the economic impact. All those things are real, but the bottom line is this is just the right thing to do".

The resolution states a commission would be created to redesign the state flag.

The bill would also establish a commission to redesign the MS state flag. If a majority rejects it, the commission will design a new flag using the same guidelines.

One idea lawmakers have introduced is replacing the Confederate emblem with the phrase "In God we trust".

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

Other reports by iNewsToday