Mississippi Legislature votes to adopt new state flag

Ross Houston
July 1, 2020

Earlier in the day, it was passed by the Mississippi House of Representatives with a 91-23 vote.

The Senate followed that vote by approving the bill with a vote of 37-14. Kylin Hill, a Mississippi State running back, tweeted last week that he was no longer willing to represent an institution that uses the flag. "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".

Mississippi's decision to change the 126-year-old flag comes during a new reckoning on racial inequality in America.

The controversial flag was nearly immediately removed from the State Capitol, as the Republican governor, Tate Reeves, previously confirmed that he would sign the bill, saying it was "time to end" the arguments and division over the 1894 symbol. "The entire nation is watching".

State residents would vote on the design in November.

Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), one of the most vocal opponents of the measure, described attempts to change it as part of an effort to challenge the founding values of the country, warning that the American flag was next. Debate around removal of confederate flags have come to light after NASCAR announced it would ban them from their race tracks following the proposal on CNN from Bubba Wallace, the league's only Black racer. For years, supporters of changing the flag have not been able to garner the simple majority needed to change the controversial banner through the normal legislative process.

Jordan also described how someone yelled, "watermelon", while he spoke during a 2000 hearing on changing the flag. The bill says the new flag shall not include the Confederate battle flag, and the new flag must include the words "In God We Trust". That panel must present its choice for a new flag on September 14, and that design will be put to a yes-or-no vote in November.

As Rep. White closed on the bill he asked all members to vote green, in the affirmative for what he says is all the good in Mississippi. We're moving closer to them. That we are people that care for each other, that are willing to work together and willing to go forward together. "I ask each of you as we recognize the MS of yesterday let us vote today for the MS of tomorrow".

Last week, the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning voted relocate a Confederate statue, erected in 1906, from a location near the Ole Miss administration building.

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