The name sewn onto his gray Capitol Facilities shirt identified him only as “Ron.” His job on an overcast afternoon in 2013 was to raise the state flag over the Mississippi capitol when the Legislature was in session, a task he had performed a hundred times before.
If he is still a member of the facilities team, Ron won’t be raising the flag again anytime soon. A bill to replace Mississippi’s controversial flag passed with overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate over the weekend. Gov. Tate Reeves, at one time ambivalent about making a change, has indicated that he will sign the bill.
First approved in 1894, Mississippi’s flag prominently features the Confederate battle emblem, the last state banner to do so. Any new design proposals must include the words “In God We Trust.” No Confederate iconography will be allowed. A commission will submit the new flag to be voted on in November’s general election. When the new design is approved, Ron can resume his flag-raising duties.