JACKSON, Miss. — With a stroke of the governor’s pen, Mississippi is retiring the last state flag in the US with the Confederate battle emblem — a symbol that’s widely condemned as racist.
Republican Gov. Tate Reeves on Tuesday signed the historic bill that takes the 126-year-old state flag out of law, immediately removing official status for the banner that has been a source of division for generations.
“This 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,” Reeves said in a statement.
“We are a resilient people defined by our hospitality. We are a people of great faith. Now, more than ever, we must lean on that faith, put our divisions behind us, and unite for a greater good.”
Mississippi has faced increasing pressure to change its flag since protests against racial injustice have focused attention on Confederate symbols.