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Mississippi Surrenders Symbol
News Bytes 06/30/2020 18 Comments

In a rare Sunday session, Mississippi lawmakers voted to retire the last state flag in the United States with the Confederate battle emblem. The move comes as the state faces increasing pressure amid nationwide protests against racial injustice.

The current Mississippi flag features a red field topped with a blue X and 13 white stars in the upper left corner. The emblem is a replica of the Confederate flag that hate groups have waved for decades.

White supremacist legislators in Mississippi put the rebel emblem on the Mississippi flag in 1894—31 years after the end of the Civil War. Most people believe it was meant to squelch any power that African Americans had gained after the war.

Critics have long said that it’s wrong to have a flag with an emblem that many condemn as racist. Some religious groups believe removing the rebel emblem from the state flag is a moral issue. College sports leagues weighed in too. They say Mississippi could lose out on hosting postseason events if it continued flying the Confederate-themed flag.

Those who want to keep the current flag say they see it as a symbol of Southern heritage.

Until recently, efforts to redesign the flag sputtered in the legislature. Senator David Jordan told colleagues just before the vote that Mississippi needs a flag that unifies rather than divides.

“Let’s do this because it’s the right thing to do,” Jordan said. The appeal in James 4:17 goes one step further about doing right: “Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”

The Senate voted 37-14 to retire the flag, just hours after the House voted 91-23. Cheers rang out in the state Capitol after the Senate vote. Some spectators wept. Some legislators embraced colleagues on the opposing side of an issue that has long divided the tradition-bound state.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves will likely sign the bill into law in the next few days.

Representative Robert Johnson choked back tears. He told reporters that he has seen white colleagues develop more empathy about how the Confederate symbol is painful to him and other African Americans.

“They began to understand and feel the same thing that I’ve been feeling for 61 years,” Johnson says.

A commission will design a new flag. It cannot include the Confederate symbol and must have the words “In God We Trust.” Voters will approve or disapprove the new design in the November 3 election.

House Speaker Philip Gunn, who is white, has pushed for five years to change the flag. He says the Confederate symbol is offensive.

“How sweet it is to celebrate this on the Lord’s Day,” Gunn said.

State Senator Derrick Simmons, who is African American, says the state deserves a flag to make all people proud.

“Today is a history-making day in the state of Mississippi,” Simmons told colleagues. “Let’s vote today for the Mississippi of tomorrow.”

(Paloma Wu holds a Black Lives Matter banner and calls for a new Mississippi state flag while current flag supporters wave the rebel flag. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

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Most recent comments

1st Comment

Wow! That is something major! I wonder what the new flag will look like and what they will use for a flag from now until then? And I wish the "In God We Trust" was still true for the whole US.

2nd Comment

That's a pretty big deal! I can see how African Americans would feel about the flag.

I think that's understandable

I think that's understandable and how African Americans would feel about that, but those people are right. The confederate flag is a symbol of southern pride. I have seen so many confederate flags all over my town. Heck, my brother has one that hangs on his car! But he's not a racist! It's just showing that we are proud of our southern blood. I understand and it's probably a good thing that they took down that flag, but I hope people don't start criticizing some southerners just because they have a confederate flag on they're flag pole or car.

This is Mylee

I don’t like how people are tearing down history. My grandparents high school had a rebel flag... And they were called the rebels. In the civil war Texas was for slavery so that was there school fLag . But now they have too change the schools name and there mascot. I don’t like how history is being torn down.... Just because the flag of Mississippi was a sign against blacks doesn’t mean that now people in Mississippi aren’t against them it is just there flag

This is Mylee

Are not aren’t sorry.

Covid-19

The cases are pretty high in New Orleans ,so i have to wear a mask for the first time. I can barely breathe wearing that in the hot weather.

I think this is good.

I think this is good. Honestly,I had no idea what Mississippi's flag looked like but I am glad. I wonder if books about the states and flags and stuff like that are gonna have the new flag...

@ Everyone

are u guys excited 4 new articles? i am but i'll miss the good old may/june ones :( ( i mean i can still read them but...........

@ Riley D.

(_____________) ?
, , , , , , , , , , , ,
, , , , , ,

@ Riley D.

#rainupdates?

@ Riley D.

how did the drive and funeral 4 ur gr8- grandma go? ( ps did u notice the word " funeral " has the word " fun " in it? odd.....:) )

Janna (Daniel's sister)

That's really good that they got a new flag! I wonder what the new one will look like.................

Interesting...

I am glad they are changing it.

P.S....

I'd like to stress something here...ok ready?
ALL LIVES MATTER!!!! Black lives White Lives Spanish lives Asian lives!!
We all come from ONE man ADAM !!! (And Shem Ham and Japeth)

@ NA

Yeah. I agree. COMPLETELY!!

@NA

I agree. It's sad with all that is going on in America.

I really like that the flag

I really like that the flag has to have the words "In God We Trust." And N.A., I agree. My mom has said that several times.

Glad you agree

Glad you agree

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