The US state of Mississippi has taken a step closer to removing the Confederate battle emblem from their flag.
The state lawmakers on Saturday passed 84-35 House Resolution 79 to change the state flag.
"Change is hard," House speaker Philip Gunn said. "People are going to resist initially, but I think over time itís going to be proven that this was the right decision. Weíre poised to reach our full potential now.
The resolution calls for a commission to create a new flag design for Mississippi voters to decide if they like it in the November general election.
"We try to overcome to enough obstacles in Mississippi as is it. This is an opportunity for us to find a flag thatís unifying for all Mississippians and thatís what weíre going to do," Gunn added.
The new design is expected to include the words "In God We Trust" and no Confederate symbols.
"We need a flag that represents all Mississippians," said State Rep. Ed Blackmon.
Gov. Tate Reeves gave a green light to signing a bill to change the flag after lawmakers approved it.
"Itís time to end it," he said. "If (lawmakers) send me a bill this weekend, I will sign it."
Reeves further acknowledged that bringing the state together "will be harder than recovering from tornadoes, harder than historic floods, harder than agency corruption, or prison rights or the coming hurricane season - even harder than battling the Coronavirus."
Due to their racist origins, Confederate symbols have been a target of the Black Lives Matter activists.
The protesters are destroying the oldest traces of racism and slavery in America after the police brutal killing of George Floyd, an African American.