Mississippi’s state flag will include the Confederate battle emblem for the foreseeable future, after state lawmakers on Tuesday said they didn’t have enough support to remove the controversial symbol.
There were 12 different bills in the Mississippi Legislature to either redesign, change, or remove the Confederate symbol from the state’s 122-year-old flag. But they all died on Tuesday, which was the deadline for lawmakers to act on bills that were stuck in legislative committees.
The bills offered numerous different options for Mississippi’s flag. One bill would have changed it to include a magnolia tree, just like the state’s flag did from 1861 until 1865. A few bills would have provided for new design submissions, either from state universities or from a newly-created commission to find new design options. One would have even changed the flag back to the Bonnie Blue Flag, which is also a Confederate-related banner, but less recognizable.
But none of those bills had majority support from lawmakers in either the state House or Senate, Republican Rep. Jason White told the Associated Press. “I’m not saying that all of them are necessarily bad ideas, but we don’t have a consensus on any of them,” he said.
The speaker of Mississippi’s House of Representatives, Republican Rep. Philip Gunn, had previously expressed support for removing the Confederate symbol from the state flag. On Tuesday, he said in a statement that he had “not wavered” on that viewpoint, and has been trying to convince other lawmakers “to adopt my view.”
“I have explored every option from taking legislative action to change the flag to adopting two official flags, but we cannot get a consensus on how to address the issue,” he said. “I will continue to stand by my view that changing the flag is the right thing to do. The flag is going to change.”
No, it's not. You've had 150 years to do it. You've yet to actually do it. There's no reason for us to believe you on this. You're racist trash, your fathers were racist trash, grandfathers, right on up the line, Phil.
Change the goddamn flag.