Mississippi House starts process to change state’s flag

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The Mississippi State House passed a resolution on Saturday that will begin the process to change the state’s flag.

By a vote of 85-34, the newly passed resolution suspends the chamber’s rules so that lawmakers can consider a bill that would change or remove the flag. As the resolution passed, loud cheers could be heard throughout the chamber.

Saturday’s vote is the first step toward removal of the state’s flag. The measure now moves to a Senate committee before going to the chamber.

Mississippi lawmakers in recent weeks have been weighing removing the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag amid the continued racial justice protests.

Mississippi is the last state in the country whose flag features the Confederate emblem. The state flag features red, white and blue stripes with the Confederate battle emblem in the corner. It was first adopted in 1894.

Earlier on Saturday, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, said in a tweet that he would sign a bill to remove Confederate imagery from the state flag if the legislature sends him a bill this weekend.

“The legislature has been deadlocked for days as it considers a new state flag. The argument over the 1894 flag has become as divisive as the flag itself and it’s time to end it. If they send me a bill this weekend, I will sign it,” Reeves said.

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