On Wednesday, July 11 2020, the Mississippi state flag of 1894 which contains Confederate battle symbols, was retired and places with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History at the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson.
The removal of the flag came after the Mississippi Legislature voted to take down the flag and create a commission that will be responsible for creating a new design for Mississippians to vote on in November.
The ceremony to remove the flag began at the state Capitol at 3:00 p.m. All three state flags were removed and given to the Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Director of MDAH Katie Blount.
The flags were then taken to the Two Mississippi Museums where Hosemann, Gunn, Blount and President of the MDAH Board of Trustees Reuben Anderson gave remarks on it’s removal.
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“The 1894 flag has flown over our state for 126 years, during which time our state saw good moments as well as some of its darkest. This retirement is a somber occasion but it also marks a beginning, a time for renewal, a time for carrying the best of Mississippi forward. We entrust this flag to the Museum of Mississippi History, where it belongs, to ever remind us as Mississippians of where we once were, how far we’ve come, and how much further we can go when we’re united under a new banner representing ALL Mississippians,” said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn.
“Today we retire the flag of our last 125 years, but we do not retire our future. For that matter we don’t retire our past either. That is our history. We do not retire the ability for any person to fly this flag. We will shortly fly a new flag and it will be the flag of our future for all of our citizens,” said Lt. Governor Hosemann. “While this historical event is but a second in the history of our state, in this second we chart a future our collective future for centuries to come. May God bless Mississippi.”
“It is the thrill of my life to accept these flags,” said President of MDAH Reuben Anderson. “After 125 years this is really an amiss accomplishment that can be attributed to these two great men. What they went through to get this done is remarkable. As I look around I think of the Legislature and the struggle that they went through to get this done. Particularly the Black Caucus who started this generations ago. This flag will go where it is appropriate, where it will be studied and argued about because it is an artifact and that’s where it should be, in the history museum.”