Centred up the subject of race relations has been front and center across the country, and that's also raising questions about mississippi's state flag..
A movement is underway to get the banner back on the ballot.
Petitions are already circulating to get the issue before voters - but that's just the áfirstá step.
It takes 106 thousand signatures to get started, then petitions must be turned in to verify those signatures... the petition is turned over to the secretary of state's office... who takes it to the legislature..
From there, lawmakers can then accept... reject..
Or bring up a competing initiative to put on the ballot..... "it can't happen for 2020 because they would had have to have everything approved for this particular initiative back on october of 2019 in order for it to appear on the ballot for 2020."
A petition at move on dot org already has over 130 thousand signatures... according to law..... petitions must be approved at least 3 months before the beginning of the legislative session in which the initiative will appear on the ballot mississippi's state flag is the last to bear a confederate emblem.
Many residents want to see it replaced with a symbol that could unify the state.
Governor tate reeves says he wants it to be left up to voters... but there are other ways to bring about the change..
Our quentin smith speaks with lawmakers about the idea.
He joins us live in the studio with more.
Joey recently.... speaker of the house phillip gunn and lieutenant governor delbert hoseman both publicly expressed their desire to see the state flag changed... area lawmakers i spoke with are open to the idea as well.... however they have mixed views on who should be in charge of making that big decision.
This is the mississippi state flag... it's been on display since the 1800's....and district 41 state representative kabir karriem says it's now time for change.
" with all the negativity that's associated with that flag it's just time for us to have something that all the mississippians can be proud of.
I love mississippi, but looking at that flag sometimes i don't think mississippi loves me."
" i personally don't have an issue if the flag changes, this is not the first flag that has flown over the state of mississippi.
I get both sides, i kind of feel like i'm a bridge between these two camps, and i completely understand where both are coming from."
District 37 representative rob roberson was a state lawmaker in 2001 when changing the design of the flag made the ballot.
During that election mississippians had a chance to vote - to keep the current flag or adopt a flag designed by a committee appointed by then governor ronnie musgrove.
Roberson says he'd like to see things done that way again, if the issue ends up on the ballot.
" i think that if we voted on it, it really gives solidarity to all of us, we all have a part in making that decision.
Whatever position you fall on, you can vote your heart at that point."
However, karriem thinks a decision of this magnitude shouldn't be left up to the public.
" the public gives us, meaning the legislature the ability to make decisions and i think a decision like this, it's on us and we should go ahead and take our proper leadership role and advocate for a new flag" the stennis flag is a popular choice that's gaining traction as a potential replacement.
While karriem and roberson both like the design, they'd also like to see other options thrown into the mix as well.
" let's just say we are going to take it down first and let's put a commission together to look at a new design and get public input so everybody will have a say in, and let's just have a new flag" " at some point this flag will change, that's just my opinion., but if that's all we do is change the flag and we are not also talking about some of the device, we've not done anything" in 2001 when mississippians voted between the existing 1894 flag and a competing design, over 64 percent of voters chose to keep the flag as is.
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