Ballot initiative to remove Confederate emblem underway

Ballot initiative to remove Confederate emblem underway

MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) - An initiative to remove the Confederate emblem from the state flag is another step closer to snagging a spot on the ballot.
Mississippi's attorney general approved civil rights advocate Sharon Brown's request to start a petition to remove the Confederate flag Thursday.

Brown issued the following statement in a press release:

"Today we received our official ballot title and summary from the state and are excited that we are one important step closer to giving the citizens of Mississippi the opportunity to have their voice heard on this important issue. I appreciate the Secretary of State and the Attorney General for working expeditiously to get our initiative ready for circulation. It is exciting to know that we are one step closer to addressing this issue once and for all. We will be holding a press conference on October 9th to announce our next steps. Additional information will be forthcoming."

According to state officials, this is just one step in the process to get an initiative on the ballot.

"The ballot title and summary are required to be drafted by the Attorney General," said Pamela Weaver, director of communications for the Mississippi Secretary of State.

Weaver said this is state law and it requires the attorney general's office to publish the proposed ballot title and summary.

According to the press release, the ballot title for the Initiative Measure #55 is,  "Should the Confederate battle flag or any reference to the Confederacy be removed from the State Flag?"

The ballot summary is as follows:

Initiative Measure No. 55 proposes to add the following language to the Mississippi Constitution:

"The flag of the State of Mississippi shall not contain or include any reference to the Confederate army's battle flag or to the Confederacy." As an enforcement mechanism, a Mississippi citizen may petition the Mississippi Supreme Court for a write of mandamus requiring the State, its political subdivisions, their agents, officers, or employees to comply with the amendment.

Weaver said the entire process is driven by statute, which is outlined in the Initiative Guide. Click here to view the guide.
Brown is expected to hold a news conference next week to announce their next steps.

The following statement was issued from The Attorney General's Office:

The Attorney General's Office recently formulated a neutral, impartial ballot title and summary for this initiative, as we do for all initiative measures and as required by Miss. Code Ann. § 23-17-9.   The proposer can now start circulating petitions and gathering signatures to try to get their initiative on a future ballot.