Senate, House both approve bill to change Miss. state flag

A Mississippi state flag flies outside the Capitol in Jackson Miss. Thursday

The flag proposed shall not contain any Confederate battle symbols and must have the words "In God We Trust". "All those things are real, but the bottom line is this is just the right thing to do". Earlier in the day, Gov. Tate Reeves (R) indicated that he will sign a bill to change the flag if one reaches his desk, a shift from his previous position that voters should decide whether to change the flag via referendum. Following George Floyd's killing in Minnesota, the national conversation evolved from police violence agains the Black community to larger issues and images of racial injustice and racism.

Churches and activist groups stepped up the pressure in June, holding rallies on the Capitol steps and furiously lobbying the Republican majority in the Legislature.

Republican Governor Tate Reeves said on Saturday for the first time that he would sign a bill to change the flag if the Republican-controlled Legislature sends him one.

"I stand in the name of history", said state Sen.

In the end, the day was won by mounting opposition to the Confederate symbol as the Black Lives Matter movement gains momentum across the country.

If addition, he said, the flag is costing MS jobs.

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.

Reeves had long opposed the idea of changing the state symbol, which bears the Confederate battle flag at the top left corner, unless it was voted on by Mississippians.

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"The eyes of the state, the nation and indeed the world are on this House", said Republican Jason White, the second-ranking office in the Mississippi House. A new design would be put on the November 3 ballot. The Legislature must then vote to approve the new flag in January 2021.

MS lawmakers are sending up their decision to remove the Confederate emblem from their flag.

Ms. Brown and Ms. Campbell were among those on hand in the legislative galleries Sunday.

Last week coaches and athletic department staff from Ole Miss, MSU, Jackson State, Alcorn State, Mississippi Valley State and Southern Miss each visited the statehouse in Jackson to present a united front in favor of removing the flag.

A bill will erase the current MS flag from state law. It is expected to be proposed on Sunday when the state congress is back in session, USA media report. Legislators said the close margin willing to suspend Senate rules delayed voting on rules suspension. Let's make this state an oasis. "For 126 years, Mississippi had a symbol that promoted white supremacy and openly oppressed Black Mississippians, who make up almost 40% of the population".

Athletic directors and coaches from MS universities have also urged lawmakers to act.

Mississippi's population includes the highest percentage of Black Americans - 37.3% - of any state in the union, according to the 2010 census.

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