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Gov. Reeves says Mississippians should decide to change flag, not him

Protester holds up sign during Black Lives Matter rally in Jackson, Mississippi.
Protester holds up sign during Black Lives Matter rally in Jackson, Mississippi.(WLBT)
Updated: Jun. 8, 2020 at 4:06 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Monday afternoon, Gov. Reeves was flogged by questions regarding the Mississippi state flag.

This comes as many governors around the country are ordering Confederate symbols to come down amid protests surrounding the death of George Floyd. A petition to replace the Mississippi flag has also garnered thousands of signatures online.

“There’s been a lot of people that have been very vocal about this for a long time,” Reeves said. “My position has not changed."

Reeves has repeatedly cited the 2001 Mississippi Flag Referendum in which 65% of participants voted to keep the current flag.

The governor said there may come a time when the people of Mississippi will want to change the flag, saying, “it should be the people who make that decision, not a backroom deal by a bunch of politicians in Jackson.”

Reeves was later asked if the legislature passed a bill which gave him the opportunity to make a decision regarding the flag, would he take it.

“I’m not gonna speculate on what the legislature may or may not do,” Reeves commented. “We are well past deadlines for the legislature and I think the rules still matter over there. We’ll certainly continue the conversation, but I’m not gonna speculate on an issue that, quite frankly, can’t occur at this time.”

He was also asked if the Confederate emblem on the flag represents present-day Mississippi.

To this, Reeves said the people of Mississippi went to the polls in 2001 and made the decision to keep the current flag. “If they had not done that, then perhaps we could be having a different conversation,” Reeves said.

He went on to say that every single Mississippian has the right to gather signatures and put the issue on the ballot. “Should they choose to do so then we’ll have a conversation about that.”

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