As anti-racism protests spurred by the death of George Floyd continues to sweep around the US, so has calls for historical reevaluations of individuals, history and symbols. Amidst this change, Mississippi politicians have taken the initiative to remove the Confederacy emblem from their state flag.
Both the state House and Senate agreed to vote for a regulation that called to redesign the state flag which has been in use since 1894. After a debate that is scheduled to take place Sunday, it is very much likely to pass.
Mississippi governor Tate Reeves has publicly announced that he will sign the bill should it pass both houses. Reeves is a Republican governor. Writing on his Facebook account, Reeves said that the controversy over the flag has been prolonged for too long and should be finished.
His willingness to change is in itself a change, as Reeves vocally disagreed previous attempts to remove the symbol. State residents had a vote in 2001 on whether the confederate battle emblem should be removed, but failed after a 35% – 65% vote.
Speaker Pro Tempore Jason White explained how the removal of the emblem does not represent a departure from the principles of the state, but rather embraces it. White said that correcting previous wrongs is exactly what the founding fathers did and would be proud of.
According to the details of this resolution, the current flag will be removed and a commission that will redesign the state flag will be established. It is reported that the confederate sign will be removed, and the words “In God We Trust” added.
As per regulations, this new flag will then be voted by the residents in November along with the Presidential election. If it fails like it did in 2001, the commission will simply retry until a new flag is voted on by the Mississippians.
The state’s Republican Speaker of the House acknowledged that brining change is always a challenge. At the same time, he said that eventually, history will evaluate the decision in a positive light.
Removing confederate legacies, both physical and mental, have surged even in the deep South. For instance, NASCAR announced the ban of confederate flags into their rallies, while debates over whether military bases named after Confederate generals should be renamed remain a hot issue.
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