JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The three Mississippi flags with Confederate imagery are now in their permanent new home, the Museum of Mississippi History.
The flags made their way in a motorcade just blocks away from the Capitol, with a host of dignitaries; notably missing from the ceremony, Governor Tate Reeves.
The motorcade arrived from the Capitol to the Two State Museums with sirens blaring and lights flashing; then Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann, House Speaker Phillip Gunn and Katie Blount, Director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, exit with three flags; making a solemn walk to the museum entrance for a brief presentation.
House Speaker Phillip Gunn said, ”This is not an end, but it is a beginning. Now we turn to a new chapter in our state’s history. Let us walk into the future together and if we do that, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.”
Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said, ”We did not retire the ability of any person to fly this flag. We will shortly fly a new flag and it will be the flag of our future for all of our citizens.”
Also, making a statement, Judge Ruben Anderson, president of the board of directors for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
He said, ”But this flag will go over to your right. To my right and to some of your left, where it is appropriate; for it will be studied, argued about, because it is a artifact and that’s where it should be in the history museum. Right next to the only state’s civil rights museum in America.”
Pamela Junior, executive director of the Two Mississippi Museums said, ”We’ll be preparing to encase it and put it up for people to see. This is an amazing time for us. We tell the complex stories here, so what better place to be at the two Mississippi Museums.”
Witnesses to the historic occasion included State Senator John Horhn who pointed to a number of factors leading to finally removing the confederate battle flag laden symbol, but there is one that moved the lawmaker to tears.
Sen John Hohrn said, ”...when that young man at Mississippi State said I can’t run for this state, I think that touched my heart.”
91-year-old Robert Clark, the first African American to hold a seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives since Reconstruction and former House speaker, also present for this historic occasion. He fought throughout his career to change the flag and admits he had given up on ever seeing this day,
Robert Clark said, ”It means so much to me, right now, until I cannot hardly express it. It means that I’m proud to see Mississippi come together and move for Mississippi; not for Black, not for White, not for Red, but move for what’s best for Mississippi.”
And so, the flag that has been the source of so much controversy for so many years, will now take its place in the pages of history.