Mississippi Governor signs bill to remove flag with Confederate emblem

“This is not a political moment for me, but a solemn occasion to bring our Mississippi family together to reconcile and move on,” said Reeves, a Republican, before signing the legislation.

The firm crowns a quick referendum on the flag of the Mississippi State Legislature, which passed the bill on Sunday after weeks of racial justice protests across the country. The flag, first adopted in 1894, has red, white, and blue stripes with the emblem of the Confederate battle in one corner.

A commission will now develop a new flag design without the Confederate emblem that includes the phrase “In God, We Trust”. Mississippi voters will vote on the new design in November.

“I know there are people of good will who are not happy to see this flag change. They fear a chain reaction of events that will erase our history, a story that is certainly complicated and imperfect,” Reeves said Tuesday.

“I understand those concerns and I am determined to protect Mississippi from that dangerous outcome.”

The Confederate flag, its symbols, and statues commemorating Confederate leaders have long divided the country. Critics call the flag a symbol representing war to defend slavery, while supporters call it a sign of pride and Southern heritage.

The symbols have increasingly become a gathering call for white supremacists.

In recent weeks, the police murder of George Floyd has spurred the removal, by protesters in some cases and city leaders in others, of contentious statues and Confederate symbols that have plagued some residents for decades, if not plus.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died May 25 in Minneapolis. While being arrested, Floyd was held by the knee of a White Minneapolis police officer for more than eight minutes.

Floyd’s death in police custody, which was captured on video, has sparked widespread talks about systemic racism.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

CNN’s Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.


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