Confederate flag removed: Mississippi governor signs bill to replace state flag

The Confederate flag will be removed from Mississippi’s state flag.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill Tuesday that removes the final stars and bars from a state’s flag.

Lawmakers passed the bill Sunday to change the 126-year-old flag, ending decades of debate by Black lawmakers and others who say the Confederate flag is a symbol of hate, The Associated Press reported.

White supremacist lawmakers put the Confederate flag on the top left of the Mississippi flag in 1894, the AP reported. The flag change was put on the state ballot in 2001 but was voted down, saying it was a symbol of Southern heritage.

“That Confederate symbol is not who Mississippi is now. It’s not what it was in 1894, either, inclusive of all Mississippians,” said Reena Evers-Everette, daughter of Mississippi NAACP leader Medger Evers who as killed in his driveway in 1963. “But now we’re going to a place of total inclusion and unity with our hearts along with our thoughts and in our actions.”

Before Reeves put his signature on the legislation, state employees removed several state flags outside of the Capitol, the AP reported.

As for a new flag, a commission will come up with a design that must have “In God We Trust” and must not have a Confederate symbol. Voters will approve or reject it during the Nov. 3 election. If rejected, the commission will have to go back to the drawing board following the same guidelines, the AP reported.