Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves on Tuesday signed a bill into law removing the Confederate battle emblem from the Mississippi state flag. The state legislature fast-tracked House Bill No. 1796 over the weekend and forwarded it to the Governor’s office on Monday.
With his signature, Reeves established a new Commission for the “sole purpose of developing, designing and reporting to the Governor and the legislature its recommendation for the new design … [no] later than September 14, 2020.” The bill provides three mandates for the design of the new state flag: 1) it cannot include the Confederate battle flag; 2) it shall include the words “In God We Trust”; and 3) the new flag must “honor the past while embracing the promise of the future.”
The Commission will consist of nine yet-to-be-appointed members. The Speaker of the House, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Governor will each appoint three members. The bill also states that among these picks, there must be one a representative from the Mississippi Economic Council, one from the Mississippi Arts Commission, and one from the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
In addition, there will be a special statewide election to determine the adoption of the Commission’s recommended design as the official state flag. The election is set for Tuesday, November 3, 2020.