Midway through a historic debate over House Bill 1796, Mississippi state representative Omeria Scott paused to scribble out an amendment. In swooping cursive, a legislator in her 28th year in the House asked to rename the bill for 21-year-old Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill.
The amendment never made it to a vote. Yet Scott takes comfort that history will note her request.
“Had this young man not made (his) statement we would not be where we are,” Scott told 247Sports.
The bill passed on June 28, removing a Confederate battle symbol from the Mississippi state flag and laying the groundwork for a new design. Governor Tate Reeves signed the bill into law two days later, altering The Magnolia State’s most prominent symbol for the first time since 1894.
Activists have called for Mississippi to change its flag for decades. That push hit another crescendo in early June as Mississippians marched and protested the killing of George Floyd. But the Mississippi state legislator, deep into its session, did not seem poised to pass a bill. On June 22, Reeves posted a statement in which he dismissed the idea of a second state flag or “any similar plan.” That’s when Hill, with nearly 30,000 Twitter followers, quote tweeted the governor and said: