Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill Tuesday to retire the current state flag, the last U.S. state flag to feature the Confederate symbol.
“This is not a political moment to me, but a solemn occasion to lead our Mississippi family to come together to be reconciled and to move on,” Reeves said before he signed the legislation, according to CNN.
The flag has been targeted the past few weeks following racial justice protests across the country.
The flag, which was first adopted in 1894, has red, white and blue stripes with the Confederate battle emblem in one corner.
As far as what’s next, a commission will now develop a new flag design that will include the phrase “In God, We Trust.” Mississippi voters will vote on the new design this coming November.
“I know there are people of goodwill who are not happy to see this flag changed. They fear a chain reaction of events erasing our history — a history that is no doubt complicated and imperfect,” Reeves said. “I understand those concerns and am determined to protect Mississippi from that dangerous outcome.”
Mississippi’s state flag, being the last in the nation to still publicly have Confederate insignia, has been a point of contention for those calling for racial justice. Critics see the flag as a symbol representing the war to uphold slavery, while supporters of the flag call it a sign of Southern pride and heritage.
It seems that companies and organizations are listening to those who are against the flag. First, the NCAA banned championship events in the state because of the flag.
Following that move, Walmart announced it would stop displaying the Mississippi state flag in its stores due to the connection to the confederacy.
Ultimately, it’s clear people feel this historic move should have happened years ago. We’re curious to see what designers will put in its place. Stay tuned for the latest.
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