Mississippi lawmakers vote to remove Confederate symbol from state flag
Mississippi’s state Senate on Sunday joined its House of Representatives in voting to pass legislation to remove the Confederate symbol from its state flag, The Associated Press reported.
The measure now heads to the desk of Gov. Tate Reeves (R), who has already announced his intention to sign off on the legislation.
The bill passed in the state Senate in a 37-14 vote, just hours after the House voted 91 to 23 to do the same earlier on Sunday.
The bill’s passage comes as the nation has seen renewed efforts in recent weeks to get rid of Confederate symbols as protests against police brutality and racism have continued across the country following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and other African Americans.
The country also witnessed a widespread push to remove Confederate flags from public spaces shortly after the 2015 Charleston, S.C., church shooting, when a white supremacist, Dylann Roof, fatally shot nine black parishioners at the Mother Emanuel AME Church.
Philip Gunn, the Republican Speaker of Mississippi’s state House, has long voiced support for the Confederate emblem’s removal from the state flag, calling the symbol offensive, according to AP.
“How sweet it is to celebrate this on the Lord’s day. Many prayed to Him to bring us to this day. He has answered,” Gunn said Sunday, according to the news agency.
Under the measure passed on Sunday, the Confederate emblem would reportedly be removed from the flag and a commission would be tasked with creating a new design.
That design would then be voted on by Mississippi voters in November. In the event a majority of Mississippians vote not to approve the design, the commission will reportedly be required to design another.
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