Mississippi will remove a Confederate emblem from its state flag to end an association with racism and slavery.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves on Tuesday signed a historic bill approving the change. On Sunday, the state legislature passed the bill to remove the Confederate symbol from the state flag in response to growing sentiment against the insignia amid a nationwide reckoning on racism.
Several Black lawmakers have been campaigning for years to change the flag. And critics have, for decades, called the flag deeply offensive to the 38% Black population of Mississippi.
“This is not a political moment to me but a solemn occasion to lead our Mississippi family to come together, to be reconciled and to move on,” Reeves said on live TV just before the signing, reported the Associated Press. “We are a resilient people defined by our hospitality. We are a people of great faith. Now, more than ever, we must lean on that faith, put our divisions behind us, and unite for a greater good.”