Bill would remove Mississippi flag from US Capitol

The sole black member of Mississippi’s congressional delegation introduced a bill on Wednesday to remove the state’s flag emblazoned with the Confederate image from the halls of Congress.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat, said that continuing to display symbols of the Confederacy in the hallways of the Capitol and office buildings “offend and insult” many of the people who walk past them every day.

“Continuing to display a symbol of hatred, oppression and insurrection that nearly tore our union apart and that is known to offend many groups throughout the country, would irreparably damage the reputation of this august institution and offend the very dignity of the House of Representatives,” Thompson said on the House floor with members of the Congressional Black Caucus seated behind him.

{mosads}Mississippi’s flag has become a renewed point of controversy in recent days after the racially motivated mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. 

Photos surfaced over the weekend of Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old man suspected of killing nine people during a Bible study at the church, posing with a Confederate flag.

Earlier this week, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) urged her state’s legislature to remove the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds.

Both of Mississippi’s senators, Republicans Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, are calling for a replacement to their state flag.

Thompson’s resolution would authorize the Speaker to remove any state flag on the House side of the Capitol complex that contains a portion of the Confederate symbol, other than a flag displayed by a lawmaker office. The removed flags would be donated to the Library of Congress.

The resolution would therefore apply to the Mississippi flag that hangs along the underground subway between the Capitol and Rayburn House Office Building. Flags of all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia are displayed there.

Thompson noted that the Capitol has not displayed the flags of territories with whom the U.S. has engaged in battle.

“Congress has never permanently recognized in its hallways the symbol of sovereign nations with whom it has gone to war or rogue entities, such as the Confederate States of America,” Thompson said.


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