JACKSON, Miss. — Just a few weeks ago, as Mississippi lawmakers mobilized to take down the only state flag in the nation with the Confederate battle emblem embedded into it, Gov. Tate Reeves said the choice was not theirs to make.
“It should be the people who make that decision,” Mr. Reeves told reporters then, “not some backroom deal by a bunch of politicians in Jackson.”
But on Tuesday, Mr. Reeves signed into law a measure that removes the flag that has flown over the state for 126 years and been at the heart of a conflict Mississippi has grappled with for generations: how to view a legacy that traces to the Civil War.
The legislation mandates the “prompt, dignified and respectful” removal of the flag, which features the blue bars and white stars of the Confederate battle flag, within 15 days.