Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said Wednesday, for the first time, that he probably would not stand in the way if legislators muster a large enough majority to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag. Photo courtesy Flickr/Stuart Seeger
To a chamber full of applause at 1:45 p.m. today, the Mississippi House passed House Concurrent Resolution No. 79 with a vote of 85-34, clearing the two-thirds majority needed to suspend the rules and introduce a new bill at this late stage of the 2020 session.
At about 4:45 p.m., applause rang out in the Senate chamber, when that body passed the resolution with a vote of 36-14, also clearing the two-thirds majority necessary.
The resolution suspends the deadline for introducing legislation so that a bill to replace the Mississippi flag can be introduced. A bill entitled "An Act to Establish a Commission to Redesign the Mississippi Flag" will be introduced, debated, and voted on, most likely on Sunday.
Unlike today's resolution, the bill will only require a simple majority in each chamber to pass and move on to the governor's desk. Gov. Tate Reeves today said that he would sign the bill.
The resolution states that the upcoming bill will create a flag commission, which will present a flag-design recommendation by September 14, 2020. That new flag design will be printed in color on ballots for Mississippi voters to approve or reject on Election Day in November.
The recommended design cannot include the Confederate battle flag and must include the words "In God We Trust."
If the newly designed flag is voted down in November, another design will be presented in the Legislature next year during the regular 2021 session, and another referendum election will be scheduled in the future.