Mississippi legislators voted on Sunday to remove the Confederate emblem from the state flag, a historical win following the repeated deaths of Black civilians at the hands of state sanctioned violence.
The vote passed 91-23 in the House and 37-14 in the Senate, according to CBS News. It will now go to Governor Tate Reeves who will sign it into state law, as expected from an announcement he made on Saturday. Residents are slated to vote on a new flag in the upcoming November elections.
Mississippians have moved towards enlightened thought—a poll from Thursday showed that 55 percent of residents supported the move, upwards from previous sentiment which overwhelmingly supported the flag’s existence.
The move reverses Mississippi holding the dishonor of being the only state with the emblem on the flag.
“I can’t believe it. I am so emotional,” said Myrlie Evers the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers said according to the Mississippi Center For Investigative Reporting. “Medgar’s wings must be clapping.”
“I never thought this would happen,” she continued. “For the people who hold the palm of Mississippi in their hands, for their wisdom and their strength, for them to vote the way they did is all but unbelievable to me, but I am ever so thankful for that vote.”
On the local level, Mayor Johnny Mage of Laurel, Mississippi, cried openly as he signed an executive order to remove the state flag from all city-owned buildings. ate’s long-standing, divisive flag from all city-owned buildings.
“I don’t apologize for being emotional,” Magee said during the signing according to WLOX. “I have lived through some things with this flag and as they told Dr. King to wait — time for waiting is over.”
“There comes a point in time in the annals of history when it becomes necessary to redefine who a people are, and what a collection of these people represent,” Magee said. “It is the opinion of the mayor of this city that now is such a time.”