JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Republican Gov. Phil Bryant says he will not call Mississippi lawmakers back to the Capitol to consider removing a Confederate battle emblem from the state flag.
Bryant says Thursday that he only calls special sessions for legislators to respond to a natural disaster or to handle a large economic development project.
The head of the Legislative Black Caucus, Democratic Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones, had called on Bryant earlier Thursday to set a special session to bring “true dialogue and full resolution” on redesigning a flag that many see as racially divisive.
Mississippi has had the Confederate symbol on its banner since 1894, and voters chose to keep it in 2001.
Debate about Old South symbols revived after last week’s massacre of nine worshippers at a black church in South Carolina.
“I thank Sen. Jones for his letter. As has been my longstanding practice, I will not call a special legislative session for something other than a natural disaster or a major economic development project,” said Governor Bryant.