JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed the new “In God We Trust” Flag into law on Monday.
Last year, lawmakers voted to retire the flag that bore the Confederate emblem. Voters then approved the new flag with a Magnolia and the phrase “In God We Trust” back in November during the General Election.
Reeves called it a historic day and called getting rid of the old flag a call for unity.
“That is not a firm foundation for our state,” he said of the former flag. He hopes the new flag will help Mississippians put aside their difference and be more neighborly.
The Committee to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag joined Reeves as he signed the bill into law. The group pored through thousands of designs in 2020 before landing on the “In God We Trust” flag.
“What a remarkable thing to see Mississippi officially raise a flag that guides us forward,” MSGOP Chairman Frank Bordeaux said in a statement. “Many have worked their entire lives to see this moment through to its fruition, working within Mississippi to change Mississippi. I am grateful to have played a role in this process through service on the flag commission and believe we have adopted a symbol that Mississippians are proud to call their own. May it fly with honor and may those of us under it be proud of what we have achieved together.”
Afterward, a flag-raising ceremony was held outside the Mississippi State Capitol along with Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn.
Gunn says several members of Congress who were initially opposed to changing the flag told him they changed their minds because they wanted to be on the right side of history and so their families would be proud of them.
“They wanted their children and grandchildren to be proud of them--the future generations of this state to be proud of what they did,” Gunn said.
Hosemann also says he hopes this is a chance for rebranding in Mississippi and hopes it can bring in new businesses to the state.
The new flag was raised above the Capitol building just after 3 p.m. after months of an empty flagpole, with the previous flag pulled this past summer and brought to rest at the Mississippi History Museum in Jackson.
“It’s very moving to see that we’ve made a big step in the right direction,” Sen. Hillman Frazier (D-Hinds) said. “...I feel good about what happened today and feel very optimistic about the future of our state.”
Frazier said the flag was changed because of people working together regardless of party and solely looking at issues. He says this is the first step, with addressing issues of healthcare and infrastructure next to come.
The Mississippi Legislature voted on a bill Sunday, June 30, to change the flag.
Gov. Tate Reeves then signed the historic bill at the Governor’s Mansion, immediately removing official status for the 126-year-old banner.