JACKSON, Miss. — UPDATE (6:05 p.m.):
Mississippi Senate voted also voted to form a committee to create a new state flag.
The bill to change the state flag passed 37-14.
Both chambers of the Mississippi Legislature have now passed a bill to remove the state flag which contains Confederate imagery and replace it with a new one.
Gov. Reeves has said he will sign the bill.
Mississippi State Auditor Shad White released the following statement:
“This is a historic day for Mississippi. A new flag means Mississippi has moved past old divisions, and that is cause for celebration. Any time a big decision is made, some will like how it happened and some will not. No process designed by man is perfect. If you’re frustrated, I’d encourage you to think of what today means to a rising generation of Mississippians. Call your children or grandchildren today (we should all talk to family more often anyway), ask them how they feel about the flag change, listen, and talk. Let’s come together in love for our home, Mississippi, and with eyes toward our bright future. We can look forward to having a flag emblazoned with ‘In God We Trust,’ the real cornerstone of our republic.”
University of Mississippi Chancellor Glenn F. Boyce issued the following statement:
“Today is a triumphant day in Mississippi as we move toward more fully embracing the rich diversity of our state. We appreciate the tremendous leadership and advocacy demonstrated across the state — including our state leaders and all the members of our legislature who supported this change — on this important and common cause to move away from a divisive flag. I look forward to the day very soon when we will unfurl a new flag that unites all Mississippians.”
The Mississippi Legislature reconvened Sunday to continue to vote on changing the state flag.
The House passed a bill Sunday with 91- 23 vote.
The bill calls for a commission to be charged with creating the design for a new state flag. The new flag cannot have the Confederate symbol and must have the phrase, “In God We Trust.”
The design will be presented to lawmakers no later than Sept. 14 and voters will be asked to vote yes or no on the design on the November 3 ballot.
If a majority of yes votes is not received, the process of designing a new state flag will begin again.
The commission will consist of nine members: three chosen by the Speaker of the House, three by the Lt. Governor, and three by the Governor.
Those three Gov. appointments will include one member from the economic council, one from the arts commission and one representative from the board of trustees from the MS Dept. of Archives and History.
Those nine appointments shall be made no later than July 15.
The commission will meet as soon as practical as soon as the appointments are made.
The flag’s supporters resisted efforts to change it for decades. But rapid developments in recent weeks have changed political dynamics. Protests against racial injustice have spread in the United States. And leaders from business, religion, education and sports are pushing Mississippi to change its flag.
AP contributed to this report.
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