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Old 06-27-2020, 07:45 PM
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Default Will the Mississippi legislature overrule its own voters?

https://www.foxnews.com/us/mississip...L02MmUctuX0PZY

Mississippi could strip Confederate symbol from state flag as lawmakers convene. State's governor said if that happens he will sign it.

The Mississippi Legislature could vote this weekend to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag.

Gov. Tate Reeves said Saturday morning if that happens, he will sign the legislation into law.

Reeves tweeted that the argument over the flag has become “divisive” and that “it’s time to end it,” WLBT-TV reported.

“The legislature has been deadlocked for days as it considers a new flag,” Reeves wrote. “The argument over the 1894 flag has become as divisive as the flag itself and it’s time to end it. If they send me a bill this weekend, I will sign it.”

He said this moment is an opportunity for a better future for the state.

“For economic prosperity and for a better future for my kids and yours, we must find a way to come together. To heal our wounds, to forgive, to resolve that the page has been turned, to trust each other. With God’s help, we can.”

Leaders say a vote at the state Capitol could happen as soon as Saturday. Pressure to change the flag has grown rapidly over the past three weeks amid nationwide protests against racial injustice. The protests came after the May 25 death of George Floyd a black who died in police custody in Minneapolis after an officer pressed his neck on his neck for nearly nine minutes, ignoring his cries that he couldn’t breathe.

MISSISSIPPI GOP OFFICIALS CALL TO REPLACE FLAG'S CONFEDERATE BATTLE EMBLEM WITH 'IN GOD WE TRUST'

The battle emblem — a red field topped by a blue X with 13 white stars — has been in the upper-left corner of the Mississippi flag since 1894. White supremacists in the Legislature put it there during backlash to the political power that African Americans gained after the Civil War.

The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the flag lacked official status. State laws were updated in 1906, and portions dealing with the flag were not carried forward. Legislators set a flag election in 2001, and voters kept the rebel-themed design.

But, the flag has remained divisive in a state with a 38 percent Black population. All of the state’s public universities and several cities and counties have stopped flying it because of the Confederate symbol that many see as racist.
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Old 06-28-2020, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: Will the Mississippi legislature overrule its own voters?

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mis...rom-state-flag

Mississippi closer to removing Confederate battle emblem from state flag

Mississippi came closer to changing its state flag Saturday when more than two-thirds of the state Legislature voted to suspend rules to allow a vote on removing the Confederate battle emblem from its design.

For the first time Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, said he would sign a bill to change the flag. He previously said he wouldn’t veto the bill and had expressed that voters should decide whether to change the flag.

“The argument over the 1894 flag has become as divisive as the flag itself and it’s time to end it,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter. “ If they send me a bill this weekend, I will sign it.”

“For economic prosperity and for a better future for my kids and yours, we must find a way to come together. To heal our wounds, to forgive, to resolve that the page has been turned, to trust each other. With God’s help, we can," he added.



Don Hartness of Ellisville, walks around the Capitol carrying the current Mississippi state flag and the American flag, Saturday, June 27, 2020, in Jackson, Miss. (Associated Press)

The flag, which has been controversial for years, is being re-examined for its ties to racism as America scrutinizes historical symbols, including statues and names of buildings, amid racial equality protests.

Supporters of a change include Bertram Hayes-Davis, a descendant of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

"The battle flag is a historic symbol of a conflict and should be appropriately displayed in museums as such," Hayes-Davis, 66, told Newsweek last week. "But it isn't something that I think demands any public display."

Debate on the bill can start Sunday and lawmakers could vote to remove the emblem then.

“The eyes of the state, the nation and indeed the world are on this House," state Rep. Jason White, Republican speaker pro tempore, said in the state House on Saturday. “I know there are many good people who ... believe that this flag is a symbol of our Southern pride and heritage, but for most people throughout our nation and the world, they see that flag and think that it stands for hatred and oppression."



Members of the Mississippi Senate gallery rise and applaud after the body passed a resolution that would suspend the rules to allow lawmakers to change the state flag, Saturday, June 27, 2020 at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss. (Associated Press)

Under the bill, a flag committee would create a new design that includes “In God we trust” potentially as part of the official state seal, according to FOX 40 in Jackson, Miss.



Mississippi state Sen. Sarita Simmons, D-Cleveland, left, hugs Republican Sen. Brice Wiggins, of Pascagoula, center, and Jeremy England, of Vancleave, following the body passing a resolution that would allow lawmakers to change the state flag Saturday, June 27, 2020, at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss. (Associated Press)

State Rep. Chris Brown, a Republican, said he thinks both the current and proposed design should appear on the ballot for voters.

“I don't think we can move forward together if we say, 'You can have any flag you want except ... this one,'" Brown said. “If we put the current flag on the ballot with another good design, the people of Mississippi will change it. ... Let's not steal their joy."



Larry Eubanks of Star waves the current Mississippi state flag as he sits before the front of the Capitol, Saturday, June 27, 2020, in Jackson, Miss. (Associated Press)

In 2001, the last time removing the Confederate symbol from the flag was on the ballot, voters decided to keep it.

While the suspension of the rules required a two-thirds vote, passing the bill needs only a majority.

“I would never have thought that I would see the flag come down in my lifetime,” Democratic state Sen. Barbara Blackmon, who is African-American, said.

The House voted 84-35 and the Senate 36-14 Saturday, according to FOX 40.
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