Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill that would change the state’s flag, removing the Confederate battle emblem after 126 years.
Mississippi was the last state with the symbol on its flag, now voided amid the turmoil, anger and reform set off by George Floyd’s death in Minnesota.
“This is not a political moment for me,” Reeves said, “but a solemn occasion to lead our Mississippi families to come together, to be reconciled, and move on.”
Reeves said people of good will may be upset the flag is changing and fearful of a “chain reaction of events erasing our history,” one he called “imperfect.” He said he would prevent that outcome, rejecting the idea of “the mob tearing down statues of our history.” A monument, he said, honors history. A flag, he said, is a symbol of our present and future.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves just signed a bill to retire the last state flag in the U.S. with a Confederate battle emblem pic.twitter.com/ABuQHxJ7gN
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) June 30, 2020
A commission will now design a new flag that will be put to voters in November. It has to include the motto “In God We Trust” and cannot incorporate the “stars and bars” initially used in battle against the U.S. in the Civil War.
— With assistance by Jennifer Kay
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