The Mississippi Legislature on Sunday voted to remove the current state flag, which contains the controversial Confederate battle emblem.

The bill passed by the Legislature will create a commission to redesign the Mississippi flag.

State Rep. Sam Creekmore, R-New Albany, voted in favor of the bill to change the state flag while State Sen. Kathy Chism, R-New Albany, opposed the bill. State Rep. Steve Massengill, R-Hickory Flat, and State Rep. Jerry Turner, R-Baldwyn, also voted in favor of changing the flag.

The Department of Archives and History will “immediately” develop a plan for the “prompt, dignified and respectful removal” of the former Mississippi flag.

The removal of the flag must take place within 15 days of the passage of the bill.

The new flag cannot contain the Confederate battle flag and must include the words “In God We Trust.”

The commission to redesign the Mississippi State Flag must include nine members. Three members will be appointed by the lieutenant governor, three members by the speaker of the House and three members by the governor.

The commission must include a representative from the Mississippi Economic Council, a representative from the Mississippi Arts Commission and someone from the board of trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

The redesigned flag must be developed by Sept. 14, and it will be put up to a vote of the people on Nov. 3.

If the voters reject the redesigned state flag, the commission will reconvene to design another flag that does not include the Confederate battle emblem. There will then be another election to decide if the new design should be accepted.

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