Mississippi's Flag Is History

Mississippi Gov. Signs Bill Removing Confederate Symbol from State Flag

Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill on Tuesday that takes a historic step to retire the last USA state flag that features Confederate imagery. "We as a family must show empathy", Reeves said during Tuesday's bill signing ceremony at the Governor's Mansion.

"MDAH (Mississippi Department of Archives and History) is grateful to the state legislature for presenting these flags from the capitol to us for our historic collection", MDAH director Katie Blount said.

The removal of the flag came after the Mississippi Legislature voted to take down the flag and create a commission that will be responsible for creating a new design for Mississippians to vote on in November. We do not retire the ability for any person to fly this flag.

The full reopening of the state of MS has been put on pause. I do think that the people, if we left it up to the people, the people would've voted to take it down.

MS voters chose to keep the flag in a 2001 statewide election, with supporters saying they saw it as a symbol of southern heritage.

In 2015, the state's Republican House speaker Philip Gunn endorsed the idea of changing the state flag after a white supremacist massacred nine Black parishioners in Charleston. But since then, a growing number of cities and all the state's public universities have abandoned it. After it was revealed that the gunman's manifesto contained images of the Confederate battle flag, SC took down the one that was displayed on statehouse grounds.

Flags were raised a final time over the state Capitol domes on Wednesday afternoon.

A groundswell of young activists, college athletes and leaders from business, religion, education and sports called on MS to make this change, finally providing the momentum for legislators to vote.

The idea faced resistance up until the end.

I've seen several flag designs including the Stennis flag featuring 19 blue stars in a circle around a larger 20 star (a nod to MS being the 20 state to join the U.S.), and another that contains the state seal, the popular choice of Lt. Gov. Delbert Hoseman, House Speaker Philip Gunn and other state leaders. White supremacist legislators put it on the upper-left corner of the MS flag in 1894, as white people were squelching political power that African Americans had gained after the Civil War. "Not just some of us". We can unite under it.

He went on to say that we need more cooperation, not more mandates.

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