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Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill Tuesday to remove the Confederate emblem from the state flag.

“This is not a political moment to me but a solemn occasion to lead our Mississippi family to come together and move on,” Reeves said at the signing ceremony. “A flag is a symbol of our past, our present, and our future.

For those reasons, we need a new symbol.”

Mississippi Lieutenant Governor and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Tate Reeves speaks to reporters before appearing with President Donald Trump at a “Keep America Great” campaign rally at BancorpSouth Arena on November 1, 2019 in Tupelo, Mississippi. (Photo by Brandon Dill/Getty Images)

Mississippi lawmakers voted Sunday to change the state flag, removing an image with ties to the Confederacy. Shortly after, Reeves said he would sign a bill changing the state flag if it reached his desk. (RELATED: Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves Says He’ll Sign A Bill To Change The State Flag)

“The legislature has been deadlocked for days as it considers a new state flag. The argument over the 1894 flag has become as divisive as the flag itself and it’s time to end it. If they send me a bill this weekend, I will sign it,” Reeves said Saturday. (RELATED: Mississippi Lawmakers Vote To Drop Confederate Emblem From State Flag)

The legislation passed both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support.

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Mississippi board votes no on moving Confederate monument

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Officials in a Mississippi county unanimously voted to keep a Confederate monument where it stands, saying moving the statue wouldn’t fix racial tensions.

In a 5-0 vote, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal to relocate the Confederate statue, which stands in the middle of Oxford Square, news outlets reported.

The all white male board was not initially scheduled to vote on relocating the monument, but amended Monday’s meeting.

Several board members said they did not believe moving the statue would cause unity in the county and community.

District 4 Supervisor Chad McLarty said his African Americans friends and constituents have not told him “the monument was an issue.”

“I myself have been a victim of racism due to the color of my skin,” McLarty said. “I’ve also been a victim of police brutality. What I do know is there are a lot of bad people in this world, and no matter how many statues, flags or pancake boxes you take down, they will still exist.”

District 2 Supervisor Larry Gillespie said he doesn’t “understand how things like statues and street names can be offensive to some.”

Board President and District 5 Supervisor Mike Roberts said said the community lacks unity and protesters on both sides haven’t exhibited “common sense.”

The relocation vote comes after officials allowed residents to voice their opinion on relocating the monument. There were passionate arguments on both sides, news outlets reported.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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