After ongoing discussions about racism in America, Mississippi state legislators voted to change its flag. The Mississippi state flag featured a Dixie battle flag, which paid homage to the pro-slavery Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. But Black Lives Matter took credit for forcing lawmakers to change the flag, when other factors were directly responsible for the change.
For example, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, publicly said that he would prefer a new flag design that was not as divisive as the state flag which included the Confederate battle flag. Also, the NCAA said it will not hold any championship events in Mississippi until the state flag was changed. Several college coaches and players also took a stand and encouraged lawmakers to change the flag’s design.
It was not Black Lives Matter’s victory, but it was the victory of Mississippi residents to push for the flag change.
Mississippi state lawmakers voted by a 37-14 vote in the state senate and a 84-35 vote in the state house to change the state flag by eliminating the Confederate flag. The state flag has not changed in 1894 and the most recent vote It was not clear what will replace the Confederate flag, but polls indicated that Mississippi voters preferred a state flag change.
According to Politico, a commission will be in charge of designing the new state flag, which cannot include the Dixie Confederate emblem. Another requirement was that the new flag must have the words “In God We Trust” on the final design. Voters will have the opportunity on November 3 to approve the new design, but if it is rejected, the commission will issue a new design to be approved by voters at a later date.
Considering that the black community deems the Confederate flag offensive, and blacks make up 38% of the state’s population, it was a change long overdue for the state.
In 1861, the Confederacy seceded from the Union over the issue of slavery, which practice involved the enslavement of Africans and their forced resettlement in the United States. Slaves were mistreated, abused, raped, tortured, and killed and did not earn wages. Confederate-related symbols offend many black Americans due to the seceded states’ defense of slavery during the Civil War.