By Adam Ganucheau, Kayleigh Skinner, Bobby Harrison and Geoff Pender
Lawmakers voted on Sunday to remove the Mississippi state flag, the last in the nation featuring the Confederate battle emblem, more than 126 years after it was adopted.
The House and Senate passed a bill on Sunday that will immediately remove the state flag, and Gov. Tate Reeves said he would sign the bill into law. A nine-person commission will be appointed to develop a single new design by September, and Mississippi voters will approve or reject that design on the November 2020 ballot. In the meantime, Mississippi will have no official state flag.
The historic vote brought tears to the eyes of many lawmakers. Cheers echoed in the halls of the Mississippi State Capitol shortly after the final votes were cast, and many Mississippians who visited the building to witness the moment openly wept.
“We are better today than we were yesterday,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, who authored the bill that passed on Sunday. “Today, the future has taken root in the present. Today, we and the rest of the nation can look on our state with new eyes, with pride and hope.
“We are not betraying our heritage,” Gunn continued. “We are fulfilling it.”
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