After busy day at Capitol, some feel momentum build for flag change: ‘The votes are there’

State leaders weigh in on flag change: ‘The votes are there’

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The efforts to change the state flag are picking up momentum at the State Capitol.

Wednesday, more state leaders weighed in on why they believe the stars and bars should be taken off Mississippi’s state banner.

It will take a 2/3 vote to suspend the rules to get the flag issue debated this session. Some seem confident those votes are there.

Representative Chris Bell said, “The votes are there so we need to make sure we have enough votes just in case somebody decides to change their mind.”

Senator Derrick Simmons said, “It comes down to the votes and I think we are right where we need to be regarding changing the flag this session.”

Also lobbying with lawmakers for a flag change - the presidents from the states universities, holding closed door meetings with the Speaker of the House and Lieutenant Governor.

Dr. Mark Keenum, President of Mississippi State University said, “They’ve indicated that they have the position they are advocating to the respective membership and urging the members to vote to change the flag.”

Governor Tate Reeves maintains that if the state flag is changed it should be done by a vote of the people. This time around, everyone from education leaders to lawmakers believe they can get it done.

Dr. Mark Keenum said, “This symbol is holding us back in the eyes of citizens all across this nation. Citizens around the globe view that symbol as a symbol of hatred and racism.”

Copyright 2020 WLBT. All rights reserved.