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- Sep 28, 2019
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The Mississippi House and Senate both voted on Saturday to suspend rules, allowing for a vote to take place to change the current state flag.
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi House voted on Saturday to suspend rules, allowing for a vote to take place to change the current state flag.
The vote on House Concurrent 79 was approved by a vote of 85-34. The rule must also be passed by the Senate.
HC 78 also includes the creation of a flag committee. The HCR says the new flag cannot contain the Confederate battle emblem and says the flag must include “In God We Trust.”
The goal is to get the new flag design on ballots in November. If the commission’s design doesn’t get majority approval in November, HCR 79 says the commission would design another new flag.
After the vote, the House adjourned until 2 p.m. Sunday.
The suspension of the rules is the first step to changing the state flag. If passed by the Senate with a two-thirds vote, the vote will then move toward removing the flag, which must also be passed by both the House and Senate. Governor Tate Reeves already said if the resolution on a new flag reaches his desk, he will pass it.
As a resident of Mississippi for the first 20 something-odd years of my life, I'm really happy to see this.
I'm actually very shocked Tate Reeves, who from all indication is supportive of the current flag and movement, will sign whatever decision the state hands to him on a flag change/no change. I guess he might realize he could be ending his reelection campaign early.
If it passes the Senate, the flag will essentially be including 'In God we Trust' in the logo, which pretty undeniably IMO violates the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Here's an excerpt on the ruling in 2004:
Lower courts have upheld use of motto
In Lambeth v. Board of Commissioners of Davidson County (M.D.N.C. 2004), a federal district court in North Carolina determined that the inscription “In God We Trust” on the facade of a government building does not violate the separation of church and state. The following year, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court decision. In 2006 a U.S. judge in the Eastern District of California wrote in Newdow v. Congress of the United States (C.D. Cal. 2006), “The national motto is excluded from First Amendment significance because the motto ‘has no theological or ritualistic impact’ and is of a purely secular, ‘patriotic’ and ‘ceremonial character.’ ” The words In God We Trust, he said, constitute in effect “a secular national slogan.”
Federal courts have consistently upheld "In God We Trust" as a national motto, which when on coins or elsewhere does not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
I believe one can easily see that the logic behind the phrase having 'no theological impact' and being 'secular' is completely outrageous. Any American knows which particular god that phrase references, and I do expect down the road for this legislation to be deemed unconstitutional. It's one of those common sense items that we know will eventually be corrected, but for now just serves as an irritant. Although it does appease those white residents who aren't outspoken about the confederate flag but don't care if it gets changed either, which seems to be a growing number of people.
Anyway, not to gripe too much. This is HUGE for my home state. Absolutely huge...Today could be a great day in Mississippi history..I'm happy it looks as if tentatively the confederate flag will be coming down.
Awaiting the Senate decision..
Here is the process to remove the State Flag:
1. MS House votes to suspend the rules- DONE
2. MS Senate votes to suspend the rules- PENDING
3. MS House votes on the bill to remove the flag. (Tomorrow at 10AM)
4. MS Senate votes on the bill to remove the flag. (TBA)
5. Governor signs the bill into law.