Mississippi lawmakers react to vote to change state flag

Politics

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Many people across Mississippi are celebrating the decision to change the state flag, while others are disappointed.

“The world was watching Mississippi, as the only remaining state in the Union to fly a symbol that a lot of people say is the reason why a lot of the hate exists,” said Senate Minority Leader Derrick Simmons.

Simmons said he’s proud to see Mississippi’s leadership moving forward together, following Sunday’s vote to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the flag.

“The help from our legislative leaders here and also the exchanges between colleagues… It’s time for Mississippi to do the right thing. And I think it all came together for the benefit and for a better future for Mississippi,” stated Simmons.

Other lawmakers agreed with him.

“We can’t keep putting this thing out any longer. People saying we’ve got to wait for a vote. We can’t leave that to chance anymore. We have to go ahead and make a tough decision, and I think most of the people in Mississippi are fine with that, and you’re going to have a few that aren’t excited,” said State Representative Ronnie Crudup, Jr.

There were some lawmakers who did not vote in favor of changing the flag, because they said they made a promise to their constituents.

“I went on people’s porches and shook their hands, looked them straight in the eye and said I will support this for you. Voting this way, I could either be assumed that I’m a racist, but if you talk to anyone, you’ll see that I’m not. Or I could be confirmed a liar, and I’m not gone be a liar,” said State Representative Randy Boyd.

Some House members said their constituents are not happy about the outcome.

“They’re very upset that we took their right away. Not because they wanted to keep the current flag, but because that was their right and that was their voice. And we took it away,” said State Representative Stacey Hobgood Wilkes.

The bill is now waiting for Governor Tate Reeves’ signature.

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