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Mississippi Governor Signs Bill To Remove Confederate Symbol From Flag

After more than a century of having racist history tied to their state flag, Mississippi will no longer showcase the Confederate battle symbol. 

Signing a bill on Tuesday (June 30) Governor Tate Reeves has officially removed the white supremacist emblem on the flag that has flown over the southern state for 126 years, since 1894.

“Tonight, I signed the bill to retire the 1894 Mississippi flag and begin the process of selecting a new one — emblazoned with the words ‘In God We Trust,'” the Republican governor said in a tweet on Tuesday evening.

RELATED: Black Mississippi Mayor Tears Up Signing Order To Remove Racist State Flag

The newly featured design will be voted on in November, however, if it is rejected another special election is set to take place to look at another design. 

“I know there are people of goodwill who are not happy to see this flag changed. They fear a chain reaction of events erasing our history, a history that is no doubt complicated and imperfect,” he said in a statement on Facebook Live. “I understand those concerns and am determined to protect Mississippi from that dangerous outcome.”

On June 23, Johnny Magee, Laurel, Mississippi’s Black mayor couldn’t hold back tears while he signed an order to remove the flag. 

“I have lived through some things with this flag and as they told Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] to wait. Time for waiting is over,” Magee said in a heartfelt speech according to WLOX News. “It’s also been used by some as an image of hatred, divisiveness and violence, none of which in any way represents the ideals and principles of our great nation, our proud state, or our vibrant city.”

Captioning his Facebook post, Governor Reeves said that the decision to change the flag “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. Now, more than ever, we must lean on our faith, put our divisions behind us, and unite for a greater good.” 

BET has been covering every angle of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and other social justice cases and the subsequent aftermath and protests. For our continuing coverage, click here.

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