World_news Mississippi governor says he would sign bill to remove Confederate emblem from state flag – The Washington Post


Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R), who has long insisted voters should decide whether to remove the Confederate emblem from the state’s flag, said for the first time Saturday that he would sign a bill to change the banner if one is sent his way.

“The legislature has been deadlocked for days as it considers a new state flag,” he wrotein a Facebook post. “The argument over the 1894 flag has become as divisive as the flag itself and it’s time to end it. If they send me a bill this weekend, I will sign it.”

The governor’s statement came as state legislators were expected to take up a vote on the matter. A debate has raged this week over the state flag, the last in the country to feature the Confederate battle flag in its design. The symbol, with 13 white stars atop a blue X with a red background, appears in the Mississippi flag’s upper-left corner.

Adopted more than 30 years after the end of the Civil War, the banner has continued to fly despite years of criticism over its symbology, including previous attempts to change it. In 2001, Mississippiansvoted 2-to-1to keep the 1894 design.

But amid nationwide protests over racial injustice and a heightened focus on Confederate symbols, Mississippi legislators and institutions have in recent days come out against the flag. A state lawmakertold CNNFriday there now might be enough votes to remove it.

Reeves went fromsaying Wednesdaythat there was “an effort underway across the country to erase our nation’s history” and that a veto “would be pointless” to his Saturday statement that it was time “resolve that the page has been turned” and “find a way to come together.”

“We should not be under any illusion that a vote in the Capitol is the end of what must be done — the job before us is to bring the state together,” Reeves said in his Saturday statement, “and I intend to work night and day to do it.”

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