Senate, House both approve bill to change Miss. state flag
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Legislature approved a bill that would change the state flag.
The House passed House Bill 1796 with a vote of 91-23 on Sunday.
The Senate followed that vote by approving the bill with a vote of 37-14.
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.”
The commission would include a total of nine people: three appointed by Speaker Phillip Gunn, three appointed by Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann, and three appointed by Governor Tate Reeves.
The commission will hold numerous public forums to allow the public to weigh in on the flag design. A final flag design will be presented by the governor and legislators no later than September 14.
The goal of the bill is to get the new flag design on ballots in November. If the commission’s design doesn’t get majority approval in November, HB 1796 says the commission would design another new flag.
On Saturday, both the House of Representatives and Senate voted to suspend the rules. That step was needed to introduce the bill on changing the flag that could be voted on immediately.
The bill will become law with a signature from Governor Tate Reeves. Reeves has already said he would sign the bill.