Mississippi will remove Confederate emblem flag

With a signature, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill removing the state flag on Tuesday (June 30).

It was the last flag in the nation that included the Confederate emblem.

The gesture was triggered by support across the U.S. to dismantle symbols of slavery, racism, and colonial oppression after the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed in police custody.

The state legislature voted to retire the flag days ago - Reeves signing the bill makes it law.

And Mississippi's Confedeate symbol has been a source of controversy for decades.

Reeves addressed his state on television Tuesday - and tried to speak to both sides of the debate.

"I know there are people of goodwill, who are not happy to see this flag change. They fear a chain reaction of events, erasing our history and history. That is no doubt complicated and imperfect, understand those concerns and in determined to protect Mississippi from that dangerous outcome.

"There is a difference between monuments and flags. A monument acknowledges and honors our past. A flag is a symbol of our present, of our people of our future. For those reasons we need a new symbol."

Symbols of the failed Confederate rebellion were erected throughout the South during the years of racial segregation and violence known as the Jim Crow era.

Despite years of progress and rights for Black Americans, many states resisted removing them.

The measure to retire Mississippi's flag has also created a commission to design a new flag, to be approved by voters in November.