Mississippi lawmakers voted to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag Sunday, officially stripping the flag of its status upon the signing of the bill by Governor Tate Reeves Tuesday


On Sunday, June 28th, Mississippi lawmakers voted to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag. ~

Governor Tate Reeves signed the bill Tuesday, officially stripping the flag of its status. Many cities and universities around the state have removed the flag in recent years, but efforts to officially change the flag lost momentum in the republican-dominited legislature. Amid the Black Lives Matter movement, which was sparked by the death of George Floyd, however, calls for the removal of the Confederate battle emblem from the Mississippi state flag have gained momentum, with protests taking place outside the Mississippi capitol building. Groups like the Mississippi Baptist Convention said that removing the emblem is a “moral imperative” (Associated Press). Additionally, college sports leagues said that Mississippi could lose postseason events if the flag continued to fly; almost four dozen of Mississippi’s university athletic administrators and coaches were present lobbying for change at the capitol. While this decision has gained support from many individuals, some feel as if the emblem is a symbol of heritage, and should remain on the state’s official flag. ~

The Confederate emblem was placed onto Mississippi’s flag in 1894, 29 years after the American Civil War ended. The emblem has been featured on other state flags, including Georgia, though it was removed in 2001. The Mississippi legislature debated changing the flag in 2000, when it was revealed that the flag lacked official status due to changes to the laws made in 1906. A commission was created by then-governor Ronnie Musgrove, and the issue was put on a 2001 statewide ballot. Ultimately, the voters decided to keep the flag. ~

Former Mississippi Governor William Winter, who served on President Bill Clinton’s national advisory board on race and also was chairman of the Mississippi flag commission in 2000, is happy with the changes being made, but he says the fight is not over. “The battle for a better Mississippi 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. ~

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