Mississippi Senate approves bill to change state flag

National

A Mississippi state flag flies outside the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Thursday, June 25, 2020. Athletic coaches and their staffs from the state’s public universities held a joint news conference and called for a change in the Mississippi state flag. Additionally several head coaches met with both the lieutenant governor and Speaker Philip Gunn, as well as their lawmakers, to lobby for the change. The current flag has in the canton portion of the banner the design of the Civil War-era Confederate battle flag, that has been the center of a long-simmering debate about its removal or replacement. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV)- The Mississippi Legislature passed a resolution to remove the confederate battle flag from the Mississippi state flag.

The procedural hurdles required a two-thirds majority in the House and the Senate to suspend the rules in order to take up a new bill.

In this concurrent resolution, the state flag with the confederate battle emblem must be removed.

Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn said the vote was a victory for Mississippians.

“I think it’s a tremendous development for all citizens of our state. I believe the flag has begun to serve as an obstacle to moving us forward. The passage of this resolution now opens the door for us to entertain a new flag,” said Gunn.

According to the resolution created by the Rules Committee, a commission of nine will be formed to establish a flag that does not include the Confederate emblem.

The commission has until mid-September to develop new flag design ideas and submit them to the Secretary of State. One replacement design that will be included on the ballot is the phrase “In God We Trust.”

Mississippians will have the opportunity to vote on the final state flag design on November 3. If voters reject the new design, the commission will do it all again.

The House passed the flag bill in a two-thirds majority with 85 yeas and 34 nays to advance the bill. The Senate voted with majority approval in a 36-14 vote.

The House and the Senate will make a final decision on the bill Sunday.

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