Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus discusses bill to change state flag

Politics

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus (MLBC) held a news conference on Monday, June 29, regarding the legislation passed to change state flag.

Members joined State Senator Angela Turner Ford, Chairwoman of MLBC, to discuss the legislation.

Senatr Ford released the following statement about the bill:

On a split vote of 37-14, Sunday, June 28, 2020, we passed House Bill 1796 that mandates removal of Mississippi’s current state flag, formation of a commission to redesign the flag, remove the Confederate emblem and include the words “In God We Trust,” then placing the chosen design before voters to approve in November.

The House passed it on a 91-23 vote.

The commission will be composed of a nine people, three of whom will be appointed by Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann, three by House Speaker Philip Gunn and three appointed by Governor Tate Reeves.

The commission will seek public input and adopt its policy on how the new design will be acquired. The commission will present to the governor and lawmakers their chosen design by mid-September.

As the bill to change the flag moved through the process, we were reminded of the treacherous circumstances that have occurred in Mississippi under the flag of 1894.

Black slaves were beaten, separated from their families, forced to work long hours and live in meager conditions – all at the hands of their owners. Many of these acts were done in the name of God and Christianity. The assassination of the late Mr. Medgar Evers, heroic efforts of Ms. Fannie Lou Hamer, the courageous acts of the Honorable Robert Clark, as well as the sacrifices of many community activists, political leaders and constituents have all played a role in getting Mississippi to this point.

We must acknowledge that as of late the public killing of George Floyd incited protests and demonstrations throughout the world. The statements of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), South Eastern Conference (SEC), Baptist Ministers, college presidents, business community and Kylin Hill, a student athlete from Columbus, Mississippi, all worked in synergy to demand change.

This battle has been fought uphill. The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus and many others held the line. On June 28, those most concerned about Mississippi’s future won!

District 16 Senator Angela Turner Ford, Chair, Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus

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