Bill would change meaning of star on Arkansas state flag

Bill would change meaning of star on Arkansas state flag
A bill would redefine what one star on the state flag stands for. (Source: KATV)

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT/KATV) - One piece of legislation filed in Little Rock would change the symbolism of a star on the Arkansas state flag.

As Little Rock television station KATV reports, it’s causing controversy at the capitol.

Rep. Charles Blake (D-Little Rock) filed the bill which would change the symbolism of the single blue star above the state’s name on the flag.

He wants the star to represent Native American tribes who inhabited Arkansas, instead of representing the Confederate State of America.

“We are an inclusive state. We have people who have been here forever. We have people who have contributed to our state that we have not properly recognized, and I think it’s time to start having those conversations,” Rep. Blake said.

Rep. Brandt Smith (R-Jonesboro) questioned Blake’s motives.

“I don’t know whether he’s got any anger or resentment that he’s holding onto personally, that he can’t deal with,” Rep. Smith said.

Governor Hutchinson released this statement to KATV:

“First of all, Rep. Blake initiated his proposed legislation in a respectful and responsible manner that tries to minimize cost to the state, if a change is indeed adopted. In terms of Rep. Smith’s statement, it was inappropriate, but I don’t believe he intended any harm by it. Now we need to move on and debate the merits of the legislation. And, as we continue with the legislative session, it’s important that we all show respect for each other as we debate the important issues facing our state.”

House Majority Leader Rep. Marcus Richmond (R-Harvey) called Smith an outstanding representative.

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