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"It is the thrill of my life to accept these flags:" Reuben Anderson Speaks at Mississippi State Flag Retirement

July 08, 2020

JACKSON, Miss. — Phelps Dunbar Senior Partner Reuben Anderson received one of Mississippi’s state flags after it flew for the last time on July 1. As President of the Board for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Anderson joined other local leaders in an historic ceremony to retire three state flags at the Museum of Mississippi History. The flags will be housed at the museum after flying over the state’s Capitol buildings for 126 years.

At the ceremony, Anderson thanked government officials, particularly the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, “who started this generations ago.” He also thanked members of the business, religious, academic and athletic communities “who made this day happen.”

“This flag will go…where it is appropriate,” Anderson said, “where it will be studied and argued about, because it is an artifact, and that’s where it should be, in the history museum, right next to the only state civil rights museum in America.”

Anderson, who is also the first African-American graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law and the first African-American Supreme Court Justice in Mississippi, stood with Gov. Tate Reeves as he signed a bill June 30 to remove the Confederate battle flag symbol from the state’s flag. A nine-person committee will choose a new design for the flag that Mississippians will vote on in November.

Click here to watch Judge Anderson’s full speech.