On Sunday, lawmakers in Mississippi voted in favor of removing the Confederate imagery from their state flag, The Washington Post reported. As The Inquisitr reported earlier last week, lawmakers were fairly certain they had the votes to pass the legislation and were confident the change was forthcoming. The state flag, which was the last state flag in the United States to feature the Confederate battle emblem, will be replaced in the near future.
The legislation that passed through the state’s legislature called for the immediate removal of the current state flag. It also ordered the creation of a committee that will be responsible for designing the new state flag. The design will be presented to the state’s voters, and they will have the chance to vote on the design in November. Additionally, the legislation laid out two specific requirements for the flag — the design must include the words “In God We Trust” and it cannot include the Confederate battle emblem in any manner.
Before the vote, members of the Mississippi legislature argued their cases for both changing the flag and leaving it the same, The Washington Post reported.
“In the name of history, I stand for my two sons who are 1 and 6 years old,” said Democratic state Sen. Derrick Simmons, who is Black. “Who should be educated in schools, be able to frequent businesses and express their Black voices in public spaces that all fly a symbol of love, not hate. A symbol of unity, not division. A symbol that represents all Mississippians, not some.”
State Sen. Chris McDaniel argued that the voters should decide whether or not to change the flag, saying, “it’s their state, not ours.” He went on to say that changing the state flag could be the first step in changing many historical artifacts in Mississippi, essentially asking where the state would draw the line.
Late Sunday afternoon, the Mississippi Senate tabled a measure that would have put the decision about removing the Confederate imagery from the flag to a public vote, according to The Washington Post. Once the Senate tabled the measure, lawmakers in the state’s House of Representatives voted and passed the measure 91 to 23. The legislation then went on to the Senate, where it passed 37 to 14, per CBS News.
The legislation will now head to Gov. Tate Reeves for his signature. Per CBS News, Tate indicated on Saturday that he would be willing to sign legislation to redesign the state flag. That was the first time that the governor indicated his potential approval for removing the Confederate imagery from the state flag. His support for the bill was a signal to Mississippians that the decision to change the flag was not being solely driven by the state legislature.