Gov. Reeves to sign bill to remove Mississippi state flag this afternoon

This afternoon, Governor Tate Reeves will sign the bill to remove Mississippi’s state flag. 

After the bill was passed by the legislature over the weekend, the governor will put pen to paper at 5 p.m. When he does, the Department of Archives and History will immediately be instructed to develop a plan for the “prompt, dignified and respectful removal” of the current state flag featuring the Confederate battle emblem. This must be done within a 15-day time frame. 

HB 1796 also creates a commission to design a proposal for a new state flag with two stipulations – it cannot feature the controversial emblem and it must include the phrase “In God We Trust.”

The commission will be made up of nine members – three appointees each from Governor Reeves, Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann & Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. The bill dictates that the governor’s appointments must include a representative from the Mississippi Economic Council, the Arts Commission and the Department of Archives and History. These appointments must be made by July 15th.

The proposed design of the new flag will be submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office by September 14th. It will then be voted upon by Mississippians on November 3rd. If the design doesn’t receive a majority of the vote, a new design would be submitted during the 2021 legislative session.