Black Mississippi Mayor Tears Up Signing Order To Remove Racist State Flag

“I don’t apologize for being emotional.”

A Black Mississippi mayor didn’t hold back tears while he signed an order to remove the Mississippi state flag that contains a symbol of the Confederate battle flag that is rooted in racism and white supremacy. 

Johnny Magee, the mayor of Laurel, Mississippi couldn’t hold in his emotions after signing the order that immediately went into effect on Tuesday (June 23). 

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"I have lived through some things with this flag and as they told Dr. [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] to wait. Time for waiting is over," Magee said in a heartfelt speech according to WLOX News. “It’s also been used by some as an image of hatred, divisiveness and violence, none of which in any way represents the ideals and principles of our great nation, our proud state, or our vibrant city.”

Noting that the flag that used to stand above his southern city is a painful reminder of his past, Magee says the state flag that was once flown at city-owned properties will now be part of a collection of historical references instead. 

The mayor has now requested that the state legislature also retire the state flag as well. 

“Adopt a new flag that represents and signifies the values and principles upon which our state is now based, and which unifies the people who call our state home.”

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, announced that if state legislators vote to change the flag that he would not stand in the way of the vote. 

“Some legislative leaders have changed their position multiple times in recent days,” he said in a Facebook post. “Right now, they are considering suspending the rules to change the flag. It would take a two-thirds vote. That’s how many it takes to override a veto. 

“Make no mistake, a vote to change the rules is a vote to change the flag. If they get those votes, a veto would be pointless. The debate would be over, and the flag would change.”

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