Mississippi lawmakers on Sunday voted to remove the Confederate symbol from their flag state.
Members of the state House and Senate broke into loud applause after both chambers passed the bill to retire the flag with broad bipartisan support.
“How sweet it is to celebrate this Lord’s day,” Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn, who is white, said after the measure was passed.
“Many prayed to Him to bring us to this day. He has answered, ”he said.
Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said he will sign the bill into law, though he says exactly when.
Mississippi legislators placed the Confederate emblem on the flag in 1894. The state was the last in the nation to use the symbol – a red field crossed with a blue X dotted with 13 white stars – in its flag.
The flag has been controversial among residents for decades, with the state facing increased pressure over the last month to remove it amid global racial injustice demonstrations triggered by the killing of George Floyd.
The commission will be tasked with designing Mississippi’s new flag without the Confederate battle emblem – though it must have the phrase “In God We Trust.”
The new design would be put on the ballot Nov. 3 and would become the official state flag if a majority of voters approve of the design.
If a majority votes against the new flag, the commission will go back to the drawing board to design a new emblem under the same criteria.
With Post Straightening