WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) - Mississippi's state flag and other items bearing the Confederate battle emblem have been removed from the halls of the U.S. House of Representatives. This move comes after U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson filed a resolution last year requesting to remove the image from House-controlled spaces in the U.S. Capitol.
"I am pleased that the Architect of the Capitol will no longer display symbols of hatred and bigotry in the esteemed halls of the United States House of Representatives," Congressman Thompson wrote on his Facebook page. "As I said last summer, this is the People's House and we should ensure that we, as an institution, refuse to condone symbols that seek to divide us."
A flag from each state had been displayed on the wall in the tunnel that runs between a House office building and the Capitol. Congressman Candice Miller said all of the flags will eventually be replaced with prints of each state's commemorative coin.
"Given the controversy surrounding confederate imagery, I decided to install a new display," Miller, chairwoman of the House Administration Committee said in a press release."I am well aware of how many Americans negatively view the confederate flag, and, personally, I am very sympathetic to these views. However, I also believe that it is not the business of the federal government to dictate what flag each state flies. "
Mississippi NAACP leaders are applauding Congressman Thompson's efforts.
"The Confederate battle flag, and all things that it adorns, represents divisiveness and hatred," wrote Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson in a statement. "It represents treason and racism. It represents slavery and oppression. That symbol of hate should not be saluted. That heritage should not be honored. The Confederacy should not be celebrated. I commend Congressman Thompson in taking this step to remove that emblem of oppression. The Mississippi NAACP has been and remains diligent in its efforts in removing that offensive symbol from our state flag and ending the distasteful practice of celebrating a heritage founded on the preservation of slavery."
"I can only hope that this understanding will somehow reach the hearts and minds of the elected officials in the State of Mississippi and they will follow suit and rid our state of this ultimate vestige of slavery and bigotry," wrote Thompson.
Thompson has previously said he does not display Mississippi's state flag outside his congressional office.