clearn.png
Wednesday March 3rd, 2021 7:52PM

Mississippi governor signs law for flag without rebel sign

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill Monday that gives the state a new flag that no longer carries the Confederate battle emblem.

The bill signing happened just over six months after legislators retired the last state flag in the U.S. that included the rebel symbol.

During a signing ceremony, Reeves said the old flag was “a prominent roadblock to unity.”

The new flag has a magnolia and the phrase, “In God We Trust.” Reeves called it "one small effort to unify, but it is done in good faith.”

Momentum to change the Mississippi flag built quickly in June as protests against racial injustice were happening across the nation. Legislators created a commission to design a new flag, specifying that the banner could not include Confederate imagery and that it must include “In God We Trust.”

The public submitted more than 3,000 proposals, and the commission chose the design that has a magnolia blossom encircled by white stars representing Mississippi as the 20th state, plus a single gold star representing Native Americans. The gold star is made of diamond shapes that are significant to the Choctaw culture. The flag also has gold stripes representing the artistic heritage of state that has produced blues great B.B. King, and Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Faulkner.

The law retiring the old flag also specified that the commission's proposed new flag would go on the Nov. 3 ballot for a yes-or-no vote. The magnolia design was the only flag proposal on the ballot, and more than 71% of people who voted that day said yes.

Putting it into law is the final step in making the magnolia flag an official state symbol. The state House and Senate last week passed the bill that Reeves signed Monday.

The Confederate battle emblem — a red field topped by a blue X with 13 white stars — was put on the upper left corner of the Mississippi flag in 1894 by white supremacists in the state Legislature a generation after the South lost the Civil War. The flag was part of the backlash against political power that Black people had attained during Reconstruction. Critics had long said the flag was a racist symbol that failed to represent a state with the largest percentage of Black residents in the nation.

The Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups have waved the Confederate battle flag for decades. Georgia put the battle emblem prominently on its state flag in 1956, during a backlash to the civil rights movement. That state removed the symbol from its banner in 2001.

Mississippi voters chose to keep the Confederate-themed flag during a 2001 election, but all of the state's public universities and several cities and counties stopped flying it in recent years. Several took it down after the June 2015 slayings of nine Black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. The white man charged in the shooting deaths had previously posed, in photos published online, holding the Confederate battle flag.

Supporters of the Confederate-themed Mississippi flag are starting an initiative that seeks to put four flag designs on the statewide ballot for another vote — the 1894 flag, the magnolia flag, one designed by a Jackson artist as an alternative to the 1894 flag and one designed for the state's 2017 bicentennial. Getting that on the ballot is a long shot, though, because of the signature-gathering process that is made more challenging by the coronavirus pandemic.

A few dozen people demonstrated on the south steps of the Mississippi Capitol in support of reviving the old flag. Some also carried flags supporting President Donald Trump.

____

Follow Emily Wagster Pettus on Twitter at http://twitter.com/EWagsterPettus.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Homeland Security boosting inauguration security
The Department of Homeland Security is setting increased inauguration security measures in motion earlier than scheduled, citing an “evolving security landscape” leading up to the event
4:10PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Right-wing app Parler booted off internet over ties to siege
The conservative-friendly social network Parler has been booted off the internet over ties to the siege on the U.S. Capitol
4:07PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Ford announces closing of Brazil manufacturing operations
Ford Motor said on Monday it will close three plants in Brazil and stop producing automobiles in the South American country
3:51PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Woman hedges apology in tense interview on hotel attack
A white woman who wrongly accused a Black teenager of stealing her cellphone appeared to back off her apology to the youth in a TV interview, suggesting without evidence that maybe he did try to steal her phone after all
3:29PM ( 48 minutes ago )
FBI warns of plans for nationwide armed protests next week
The FBI is warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration
3:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump hits Cuba with new terrorism sanctions in waning days
The Trump administration has re-designated Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism" in a move that hits the country with new sanctions shortly before President-elect Joe Biden takes office
3:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Biden talked to Senate leaders about impeachment
President-elect Joe Biden says he has spoken to Senate leaders about splitting time between approving his key Cabinet nominations and proceeding with a possible impeachment trial against President Donald Trump
2:32PM ( 1 hour ago )
Biden team reveals theme of inauguration: 'America United'
The theme for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration will be “America United."
2:16PM ( 2 hours ago )
Biden gets 2nd vaccine dose as team readies COVID-19 plan
President-elect Joe Biden has received his second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, three weeks after getting his first one
2:14PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
House preps impeachment; GOP blocks ouster-by-Cabinet call
A House resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove President Donald Trump from office has been blocked by Republicans
11:55AM ( 4 hours ago )
Republicans block measure calling for quick removal of Trump
A House resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority to remove President Donald Trump from office has been blocked by Republicans
11:27AM ( 4 hours ago )
Phoenix to honor late civil rights icon Calvin C. Goode
Arizona lawmakers, Phoenix residents and members of the Black community will celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights leader Calvin C
11:01AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
US ramps up vaccinations to get doses to more Americans
The U.S. is entering the second month of the biggest vaccination effort in history with a major expansion of the campaign, opening football stadiums, major league ballparks, fairgrounds and convention centers to inoculate a larger and more diverse pool of people
4:16PM ( 1 minute ago )
Right-wing app Parler booted off internet over ties to siege
The conservative-friendly social network Parler has been booted off the internet over ties to the siege on the U.S. Capitol
4:07PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Ford announces closing of Brazil manufacturing operations
Ford Motor said on Monday it will close three plants in Brazil and stop producing automobiles in the South American country
3:51PM ( 27 minutes ago )
The Latest: Gorillas in San Diego test positive for COVID-19
Several gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park have tested positive for the coronavirus in what is believed to be the first cases among such primates in captivity
3:50PM ( 27 minutes ago )
New this week: 'MLK/FBI,' Why Don’t We and 'Prodigal Son'
This week’s new entertainment releases include Regina King’s directorial debut “One Night in Miami,” which brings together Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke in the same Miami hotel in February 1964
3:47PM ( 31 minutes ago )