Mississippi state flag to be changed

Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT(WTOK)
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 11:08 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WTOK) - The bill to retire the Mississippi state flag and start the process of selecting a new one was signed into law Tuesday.

Gov. Tate Reeves acknowledged that the conversation about the state flag was a difficult one that he prayed about.

“This is not a political moment to me but a solemn occasion to lead our Mississippi family to come together, to be reconciled, and to move on,” Reeves said. “We are a resilient people defined by our hospitality. We are a people of great faith. Now, more than ever, we must lean on that faith, put our divisions behind us, and unite for a greater good.”

But politics did play into Reeves decision making.

“So last week, as the legislature deadlocked, the fight intensified, and I looked down the barrel of months of more division—I knew that our path forward was to end this battle now,” he said.

Reeves makes it clear that he’s not interested in the eyes of the world being on Mississippi but rather cares about being able to look into the eye of our neighbor and ensure they know....

“That their state recognizes the equal dignity and honor they possess as a child of the South, a child of Mississippi, and yes—as a child of an Almighty God,” Reeves said.

The legislation calls for the words ‘In God We Trust’ to be included on the new flag.

“As Lt. Governor, I fought to put those words on our state seal. We were attacked, threatened, and ultimately we were sued. I know the same forces will come after us again and I know this is a stronger line to hold. The people of Mississippi, black and white, and young and old, can be proud of a banner that puts our faith front and center. We can unite under it. We can move forward—together.”

For those wondering if this may be the first of other steps to remove symbols of the past, Reeves said, “There is a difference between monuments and flags. A monument acknowledges and honors our past. A flag is a symbol of our present, of our people, and of our future. For those reasons, we need a new symbol.”

And with the stroke of the pen, that process is set into motion.

Copyright 2020 WTOK. All rights reserved.

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