Historic Night In Mississippi Legislature: Vote To Change State Flag

A historic vote out of Jackson this evening on the future of the state flag.

The house passed House Bill 1796 with a vote of 91 to 23. The Senate followed by voting 37 to 14.

The new bill requires the current state flag to be removed within 15 days of the bill's passing. It also establishes a commission to redesign the state flag. Under the provisions of House Bill 1796. The new flag cannot include the Confederate Battle Flag and must include the words 'In God We Trust"

That commission being a total of nine people, three appointed by Governor Reeves, three by speaker Philip Gunn and three by Lt. Governor Delbert Hoseman.

It plans to hold public forums for input from the public. The final design will be presented no later than September 14. The end game is to have the new flag on the November ballot.

And around the state officials speaking out about the news.

Senator Derrick Simmons reacting tonight from the capitol. 

"It's unbelievable I never imagined in my lifetime that we would be making such a history making moment in the state of Mississippi we are changing a symbol that has been flying for 126 years and remarkable. What this message tells america is that Mississippi wants to move in the right direction, Mississippi wants to represent all Mississippians and despite the Mississippi of yesterday we can look froward to a Mississippi of tomorrow," he said.

Also saying "In the name of history, I stand for my two sons who are 1 and 6 years old who should be educated in schools, be able to frequent businesses and express their black voices in public spaces that all fly a symbol of love, not hate. A symbol of unity, not division. A symbol that represents all Mississippians, not some. 

Delta State President William LaForge taking to twitter with a statement about the state flag.

Saying "Make no mistake about it: changing the flag is a milestone event in Mississippi history! Thank you to the legislative leadership & members who supported the change to tell the nation and the world we are truly the hospitality state!"

He along with other university presidents expressed their support for the flag change earlier this week in Jackson.

And on Saturday, after Mississippi lawmakers took those steps toward changing the state flag, the great great grandson of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Bertram Hayes-Davis, spoke out in support of changing the flag. 

"That battle flag has been hijacked. It does not represent the entire population of Mississippi. It is historic and heritage related. There are a lot of people who look at that that way and god bless them for that heritage. So put it in a museum and honor it there or put it in your house, but the flag of Mississippi should represent the entire population, and i am thrilled that we are finally going to make that change," he said. 

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