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Lawmakers react to replacing Mississippi state flag

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 9:42 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Lawmakers are speaking out after a historic vote led to the removal of the Mississippi state flag.

“This is likely the toughest issue that I will face in my political career. The pressure was immense. It was immense to sit there and make a decision. Your people want one way and you have a personal condition maybe to go the other way,” said District 31 Senator, Tyler McCaughn.

District 31 Senator, Tyler McCaughn said he voted ‘no’ on the house bill and the suspension of the rules to consider it. He said voters should make that decision.

“The only thing that I ever been asked by my people is to allow them to vote on the removal of that flag and the new flag. To do that the only thing I could do is to vote no. I did do that because I’m not going to walk away from that promise I made it to the people. Personally I have no allegiance to the flag or any other flag. Sometimes I wonder if Mississippi even needs one until we can figure out how to unify behind each other,” said McCaughn.

District 33 Senator Jeff Tate also voted ‘no’ on the house bill for the removal of the flag.

“You had a house and senator to take up a house bill authored by Phillip Gun. It is to retire the current flag and allow a commission to be formed to design a new flag. I opposed that. I voted no on that. I had an amendment that had altered along with several other republicans to allow the people to have the voice whether to keep our current flag or not,” said District 33 Senator Jeff Tate.

District 83 Democratic Representative Charles Young, Jr voted the suspension of the rules and the removal of the state flag. He also said that to some the flag carries a negative connotation.

“My family is a part of history in the Mississippi. I have bullet holes in the house that I lived in where the clan did drive-by shootings. I knew that the stars and bars were the symbol of hatred, discrimination, terror, murder, lynching, and rapes. It’s a very bad symbol,” said District 83 Democratic Representative Charles Young, Jr

The House bill requires the current flag to be removed within 15 days of the bill’s passing. The bill would also establish a commission to redesign the Mississippi State Flag.

Copyright 2020 WTOK. All rights reserved.

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