Joshua marched his troops around Jericho once a day for six days, then seven times on the seventh day. And “the walls came tumbling down.”
From the time they firmly committed to getting it done, it didn’t take Republican Lieutenant-Governor, Delbert Hosemann, and Republican Speaker of the House, Phillip Gunn, much longer than that to marshal their troops to bring down the old Mississippi state flag with the “stars and bars.”
The flag vote happened Sunday and the vote wasn’t even close: Hosemann got the state Senate to vote 37-14 to take down the old flag. Gunn’s vote in the state House of Representatives was even more lopsided– 91 to 23.
And it is to happen right away – within 15 days – the 126-year-old flag is to come down from all official flag poles in all 82 counties
The old flag, with its Confederate ensign, has long been considered offensive to black Mississippians. It was widely believed the Confederate emblem was hurting economic growth in the state. The NCAA had guaranteed draconian financial punishment for the state’s public university athletic programs if it didn’t come down.
On the first of January, 2020, there weren’t ten people in Mississippi who thought the state would have a new flag by the of the year.
For the first time in over a hundred years, not a single Democrat had been elected to statewide office in the November elections. The “conservative” Republicans had “super majorities” in both houses of the state legislature. No way would the 126-year-old Mississippi state flag with the “stars and bars” be coming down!
The Republicans took it down.
“The Democrats put the flag up in 1894,” District 6 Republican State Senator, Chad McMahan, of Guntown, told NEMISS.NEWS. “Within less than six months of the Republicans taking every statewide office in Mississippi and having big majorities in the legislature, we took it down.”
It may be a bit of partisan exuberance, but it is true.
McMahan explained how he came to his decision.
How did the flag decision come to be?
“After receiving more than 15,000 phone calls, text messages, and emails from residents living in the district,” said McMahan, “I have voted the ‘will of the majority.’ The vast majority – 10,000 voices – asked me to vote to retire the old flag and create a pathway for a new flag to be created. The people will have the right to vote on a new flag design in the near future. Once the people choose a new flag, the legislature will convene and adopt it as our official state flag.”
The legislation passed Sunday provides that a nine-member commission come up with a new Mississippi flag design by September. The governor, lieutenant-governor and house speaker will each select three members of the commission.
The design selected by the commission will be submitted to Mississippi voters on November 3, the date of the presidential election. It will be a straight up and down vote. If the voters approve the choice, the legislature will codify it into law in January. If the voters reject the design, a new design will be submitted and a new vote will be taken at a future date.
Votes by members of the Northeast Mississippi legislative delegation on the proposal to take down the old flag and make way for a new design were as follows:
SENATE Flag vote
Republican Sen. Kathy Chism, Dist. 3: NO
Republican State Sen. Rita Potts Parks, Dist 4 Did not vote
Republican State Sen. Daniel Sparks, Dist. 5 NO
Republican State Sen. Chad McMahan, Dist. 6 YES
Democrat State Sen. Hob Bryan, Dist. 7 YES
Republican State Sen. Benjamin Suber, Dist. 8 YES
Republican State Sen. Nicole Boyd, Dist. 9 YES
Republican State Sen. Neil Whaley, Dist. 10 NO
HOUSE Flag Vote
Republican Rep. Lester Carpenter, Dist. 1 NO
Republican Rep. Nick Bain, Dist. 2 YES
Republican Rep. William Arnold, Dist. 3 YES
Republican Rep. Jody Steverson, Dist. 4 YES
Democrat Rep. John Gary Faulkner, Dist. 5 YES
Republican Rep. Brady Williamson, Dist. 10 YES
Republican Rep. Clay DeWeese, Dist. 12 YES
Republican Rep. Steve Massengill, Dist. 13 YES
Republican Rep. Sam Creekmore IV, Dist. 14 YES
Republican Rep. Mac Huddleston, Dist. 15 YES
Democrat Rep. Ricky Thompson, Dist. 16 YES
Republican Rep. Shane Aguirre, Dist. 17 YES
Republican Rep. Jerry Turner, Dist. 18 YES
Republican Rep. Randy Boyd, Dist. 19 NO
Republican Rep. Chris Brown, Dist. 20 Did not vote
Democrat Rep. Donnie Bell, Dist. 21 YES
Democrat John Lancaster, Dist. 22 YESLt governor Delbert Hosemann, Mississippi state flag, MS politics, MS Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn, Northeast MS news