Until Tuesday, Mississippi was the only US state to still carry the Southern symbol on its flag. The governor signed a law to remove this emblem which is considered racist.
The Confederate symbol on the Mississippi flag has joined history books. On Tuesday, June 30, the governor signed a law that removes this reminder of slavery by the state standard.
With its emblem – red background, diagonal blue cross with small white stars – which represented the southern states, as opposed to the abolition of slavery, during the American Civil War (1861-1865), Mississippi was the only state to still carry the southern symbol of its flag. Georgia, with a long segregationist past, abandoned this symbol in 2003.
“Unite and move forward”
“This is not a political gesture; it is a solemn occasion to reunite as a family from Mississippi, to unite and move forward,” said Governor Tate Reeves, before signing the text.
The flag is perceived by many as racist and is part, like the statues of the Confederate generals or slavery leaders, of the emblems that are being questioned in the context of the major anti-racist demonstrations that have shaken the United States for a month.
Mississippi citizens, of whom nearly 40% are African American, will have to vote on the new flag in November. If they reject it, the state will not have a flag until a new design is approved.