State leaders, organizations speak out after House, Senate pass bill to change state flag

FLAG VOTE: The process to making the change

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Several state leaders are sharing their thoughts after a historic day at the Capitol.

Lawmakers have passed a bill that would change the design of the state flag.

House Bill 1796 requires the current flag to be removed within 15 days of the bill’s passing.

The bill would also establish a commission to redesign the Mississippi state flag. The bill says the new flag shall not include the Confederate battle flag, and the new flag must include the words “In God We Trust.”

State Auditor Shad White said this vote is cause for celebration:

“This is a historic day for Mississippi. A new flag means Mississippi has moved past old divisions, and that is cause for celebration. Any time a big decision is made, some will like how it happened and some will not. No process designed by man is perfect. If you’re frustrated, I’d encourage you to think of what today means to a rising generation of Mississippians. Call your children or grandchildren today (we should all talk to family more often anyway), ask them how they feel about the flag change, listen, and talk. Let’s come together in love for our home, Mississippi, and with eyes toward our bright future. We can look forward to having a flag emblazoned with ‘In God We Trust,’ the real cornerstone of our republic.”

Mike Espy spoke out on social media:

Anthony Wilson President and CEO of Mississippi Power and 2020-2021 Chair of Mississippi Economic Council said:

“I commend our legislators on these landmark votes for a new Mississippi. Perceptions of our state will change around the nation and around the world. A new flag will unite us and help us move further toward creating economic prosperity and a brighter future for everyone in our great state.”

Scott Waller, President and CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council:

“Ensuring a promising future for Mississippi begins with enhancing economic opportunities and improving the quality of life in a fair and inclusive manner for every Mississippian. Today’s decision to remove the state flag is historic, but more importantly, it is a huge step in unifying our citizens and sets Mississippi on a new course toward economic growth for generations to come. MEC thanks Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann and state legislators for their leadership and courage, and we look forward to working with Governor Tate Reeves in bringing our state together so Mississippi can realize her full potential.”

From the National Association of Social Workers MS Chapter:

“NASW-MS Chapter and its members are proud of the bipartisan support by our Mississippi Legislature and leadership for taking a bold step of progress. We join together with other organizations in ensuring advocacy, change, and inclusion for all Mississippians.”

From the ACLU of Mississippi:

“The ACLU of Mississippi commends the members of the Mississippi State Legislature and celebrates the passage of a bill to retire the current flag. This is a step towards a Mississippi that recognizes and upholds the civil liberties of all. This vote is not at all surprising. It is who we are as Mississippians. We are black, white, young, old, gay, straight: but what we share is love and hospitality. We look forward to continuing to work with the legislature to make Mississippi an even better place to live, work, and play.”

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