The commission could present a different option for the Legislature in 2021 if the voters reject the design in November. Recent polls showed that 55% of Mississippians want to change the flag. This number rose to 72% after the flag included the motto “In God We trust” as the motto. Both Philip Gunn, the House Speaker, and Lt. Governor. Delbert Hosemann championed passage of the bill in the Republican-controlled Legislature. Robert Johnson (D-Natchez), state senator, stated that the bill’s passage has shown the state a lesson. “We’re white. He said, “We’re black.” “We are from the Delta. We are from the hills. We are from the coast. We are one Mississippi moving forward.” Sen. Briggs Hopson (R-Vicksburg) acknowledged that the Legislature had “punted this ball away” in the past. However, Myrlie Evers was proud of the legislators’ courage. She said, “I didn’t think this would happen.” “For the people who have the palm of Mississippi in the hands, for their wisdom, and for their strength, for them voting the way that they did is all but unbelievable, but I am ever so grateful for that vote.” The current state flag of Mississippi has been flying since 1894, four years after Mississippi adopted a new constitution to reaffirm white supremacy and disenfranchise African Americans. Mississippi was followed by other Southern states, and soon African Americans in the South were exempt from voting. Myrlie Evers was a Confederate soldier who was the last stronghold on the Mississippi River. Confederate soldiers surrendered to Union troops on July 4, 1863. She said that the Mississippi flag was a symbol of slavery and second-class citizenship for people of other colors growing up in Mississippi. She said she is approaching 90 years old and that the Mississippi flag symbolized “slavery and second-class citizenship for those whose color was not white” and she has carried the weight of her skin to what it represented for Caucasians. “I remember what my forefathers fought to get — education and landownership,” she added. Her husband, Medgar, died in an accident and “gave his life to his country.” He fought in Europe as an inferior soldier fighting for a country that didn’t appreciate him. Because of these same freedoms, his life was taken on June 12, 1963. She is worried that the hard work of civil rights activists has been lost. She said, “We are moving into more turbulent times due to the leadership in this country.” She said that she is sometimes overcome by anger and despair after watching the news. She said that she felt her heart being torn in pieces. “I feel that deeply for the things going in America today.” She said. She ran outside to see her husband covered in blood, and then screamed when she heard the gunshot. He died at the hospital an hour later. She said that America is at a crossroads, much like it was six decades ago during civil rights movements. She said, “I don’t have much time left but I have children” and “I have grandchildren.” “What kinda future will they have? What kinda life will they live in the country of their birth, the country that their grandfather fought to defend in Europe, America the Beautiful?” But America is not beautiful anymore,” she stated. “I am afraid, and I hope people of goodwill come together to vote for what is right and just and what is best for all of us regardless of race, creed, or color.” She considers hatred poison. She said, “It poisons our individuality.” She said, “I don’t want that poison running through my veins anymore.” The example set by Mississippi should be an inspiration to the rest of America. “If Mississippi can make a move such as this, I hope that the rest of America can take a look at their states and see the signs of prejudice, hatred, and racism.