So progress finally comes to Mississippi.

Courtesy of WaPo:

Mississippi lawmakers on Saturday took the first step toward changing the state flag, after nationwide protests of racial injustice refocused attention on the last in the country to continue featuring a Confederate emblem.

Applause broke out when the House of Representatives voted 85 to 35 to suspend rules and allow consideration of a bill creating a new design free of Confederate iconography.

Ahead of the historic vote, Speaker Pro Tem Jason White (R) argued forcefully against keeping the old flag, saying that it had come to be viewed as a symbol of hate.

“By changing our flag, we don’t abandon our founding principles,” he said. “We embrace them more fully by doing what is right. We’re not moving further away from our founding fathers’ visions. We’re moving closer to them. We’re not destroying our heritage; we’re fulfilling it.”

Earlier in the day, Gov. Tate Reeves (R), who had long insisted voters alone should decide whether to abandon the state’s flag, said for the first time Saturday that he would sign a bill on the issue if one is sent his way.

“The legislature has been deadlocked for days as it considers a new state flag,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “The argument over the 1894 flag has become as divisive as the flag itself and it’s time to end it. If they send me a bill this weekend, I will sign it.”

Next, perhaps Mississippi can work on doing away with Confederate Memorial Day.