2019 Regular Session
By: Representative Gibbs (72nd)
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A COMMISSION TO REDESIGN THE MISSISSIPPI STATE FLAG; TO PRESCRIBE THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMISSION AND TO PROVIDE FOR ITS ORGANIZATION AND MEETINGS; TO PROVIDE THAT THE REDESIGNED MISSISSIPPI STATE FLAG ADOPTED BY THE COMMISSION SHALL NOT INCLUDE THE DESIGN OF THE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG; TO PROVIDE THAT THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMMISSION SHALL BE PRESENTED TO THE GOVERNOR, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AND SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2020; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) There is established the Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag (commission) with the sole purpose of developing, designing and reporting to the Governor and the Legislature a new design for the official Mississippi State Flag on or before January 1, 2020. The new Mississippi State Flag adopted by the commission shall not include the design of the Confederate Battle Flag. The commission is charged with a sensitive and responsible task that it shall conduct in an objective manner. The redesigned Mississippi State Flag shall honor the past while embracing the promise of the future.
(2) The Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag shall consist of eleven (11) members, to be appointed as follows:
(a) Two (2) members of the Mississippi House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House;
(b) Two (2) members of the Mississippi Senate appointed by the Lieutenant Governor;
(c) Seven (7) members appointed by the Governor, to include:
(i) A representative from the Mississippi Economic Council;
(ii) A representative from the Mississippi Arts Commission;
(iii) Two (2) representatives from the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History;
(iv) A representative from business and industry; and
(v) Two (2) members from the state at large, who shall be persons who are college students under twenty-five (25) years of age.
All appointments shall be made not later than sixty (60) days after the effective date of this act. The chair of the commission shall be appointed by the Governor from the members of the commission. The commission shall meet as soon as practicable after appointments have been made upon the call of the chairman, and shall organize for business. A quorum of the appointed membership of the commission shall be required for the adoption of any reports and recommendations. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History shall provide meeting space and clerical support for the operation of the commission.
(3) The Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag shall have the following functions and duties:
(a) To hold regular, public meetings when and where it sees fit;
(b) To receive written, public comment, in a manner it sees fit, and to hold public hearings, under the terms and conditions it determines and sees fit;
(c) To collect, examine and consider all information which it determines may be helpful in making a recommendation on the use and adoption of Mississippi's State Flag, including, but not limited to, the positive and negative economic effects on the state of having the current design for the Mississippi State Flag;
(d) To consult with historical experts, social science experts, representatives of organizations and associations, and others, as it sees fit, whose knowledge or expertise may assist the commission in making its recommendation;
(e) To make any inquiries and conduct any business that may assist the commission in submitting a design for a state flag; however, the new Mississippi State Flag adopted by the commission shall not include the design of the Confederate Battle Flag;
(f) Keep minutes of its meetings, and make those minutes available to the public; and
(g) To make a written recommendation for a new design for the official Mississippi State Flag and an oral presentation to the members of the Legislature in a joint session of the Legislature held on or before January 15, 2020.
(4) Members of the commission shall receive no compensation for service on the commission but may receive reimbursement for mileage and actual expenses as provided in Section 25-3-41, to the extent funds are available for that purpose.
(5) The state flag currently in use shall remain in use until such time as the Mississippi Legislature considers the report of the commission and the Legislature has had ample time to act.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.