Amidst ongoing anti-racism protests taking place across the country, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Mississippi are pushing for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the Mississippi state flag. According to CNN, they appear to have support from at least one powerful Republican lawmaker in the state. This news comes amidst nationwide efforts to remove memorials to the Confederacy in light of the protests going on around the country striving to highlight issues plaguing the Black community such as racial injustice and police brutality.
This push to remove the Confederate battle flag was approved by Philip Gunn, the Republican Speaker of the Mississippi House, during a closed-door meeting, per Rep. Robert Johnson. The representative, who is a Democrat, told CNN, "Everybody is on board with getting rid of the messages of segregation, and the old South, and the Civil War, except Mississippi." While this push was approved by Gunn, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are still trying to nab enough votes for a resolution for changes to be made to the flag. As of right now, all 45 Democratic members of the Mississippi House are on board with this resolution. Although, they need bipartisan support for this matter, as they need to reach the necessary two-thirds majority.
In light of George Floyd's death, there have been widespread protests all across the country (and across the world) calling for racial justice. Individuals in many parts of the country have been working hard to remove memorials to the Confederacy amidst these anti-racism protests. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam previously announced that he would remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee (a judge has since blocked its removal), according to CNN. Additionally, NASCAR recently made a major statement by declaring that it was banning the Confederate flag from its races.
On Wednesday, NASCAR President Steve Phelps said that they would be banning the Confederate flag from all of their races and noted that it was time to take a stand against racism. NASCAR's governing body said in a statement, "The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry. Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties."