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story.lead_photo.caption In this Feb. 1, 2011 file photo, an American and Arkansas flag blow in the wind as snow falls in Fayetteville. (AP Photo/Beth Hall, File)

Rep. Jack Ladyman, R-Jonesboro, on Wednesday failed to block the latest legislation by Rep. Charles Blake, D-Little Rock, that would change state law to remove a symbolic reference to the Confederacy on the state flag.

Ladyman's motion failed in a 4-4 vote in the 20-member House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The flag's single blue star above the word "Arkansas" denotes the state as a member of the Confederate States of America, according to the law explaining the flag's elements.

[RELATED: Complete Democrat-Gazette coverage of the Arkansas Legislature]

Blake's original bill would have changed the designation to commemorate native tribes. A committee defeated and then tabled that bill.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, then came out in support of a change.

Blake's latest legislation, House Bill 1736, would have the top star honor the United States. The three stars below the state name -- which now honor the U.S., Spain and France -- would honor Spain, France and native tribes.

Hutchinson told the Political Animals Club that he met with Blake and Rep. Jimmy Gazaway, R-Paragould, about the bill Wednesday morning and assured them he supports the bill.

"I expect that bill to come back in the State Agencies committee at some point in the future," he said.

--Michael R. Wickline


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  • RBear
    March 14, 2019 at 7:47 a.m.

    This legislation needs to pass. Gov. Hutchinson provided more context for the star commemorating the Confederacy in his remarks to Political Animals. It was passed at a time of intense racial tension in Arkansas less than five years after the Elaine Massacre. I know some in here will try to deflect by blaming the party in charge at the time of passage. Those were Dixiecrats, by the way.
    Regardless who was in charge, the star's reason for being on the flag needs to be redefined. This is not rewriting history or erasing it. It's choosing what we want our state to honor through its flag and the Confederacy is not one of those things.

  • BoudinMan
    March 14, 2019 at 7:59 a.m.

    Why does doing the right thing seem like such a difficult task for the repugnants? Do they just like to align themselves on the wrong side of history?

  • mrcharles
    March 14, 2019 at 8:56 a.m.

    It is not honor that the supporters strive for, it is not history that the supporters strive for, it is the continued message of conservatives who want many to know that if they were back then they support the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil , and every drop of blood drawn with the lash as honor. How sad , and they teach their children that there is honor is honoring past abominations. This is the elite authoritarian ideas they cherish.

    Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

    With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nation

  • SWAL
    March 14, 2019 at 9:03 a.m.


  • Packman
    March 14, 2019 at 9:55 a.m.

    The four murders involving black folks in LR last week were directly caused by this damn star. Remove it and do it NOW. Let's make sure we have our priorities firmly in place!

  • RBear
    March 14, 2019 at 10:17 a.m.

    Pack once again you're ignorant on the issues. Where does the bill say to remove the star? I know you're reading challenged, but this one's a no brainer. Do you have that bad of a problem reading?

  • Dirtdr
    March 14, 2019 at 10:17 a.m.

    One would think that one or two smart and even-keeled legislators might find a way to write the bill in a way that includes acknowledgement of Arkansas’ past allegiance to the Confederacy; while also stating that it is now the desire of the state to remember that past, but that we are resolute and united in our collective desire to embrace a more promising, progressive, and positive future. We would hope that all Arkansans (native or gratefully transplanted) yearn for a more prosperous present and a future that achieves greater racial harmony and greater equality of opportunities for each of the state’s citizens.
    Surely, the majority of level-headed Arkansans would be satisfied with acknowledging history (albeit good or bad) in the bill, ... but underscore that what is past, is past?History is important, to publicly acknowledge and record for all to be aware of, but it does not have to dictate the trajectory of our preferred future.

    Wishing we had a more civil discourse and less divisiveness in shaping the future for our children and grandchildren, while respectfully remembering and learning from our history.

  • Packman
    March 14, 2019 at 10:24 a.m.

    Hey RBear - I say remove the damn thing! Like that Flowers woman, I'm sick of this sh*t. Too many black folks are losing their lives to violent crime and all this talk of these symbols of the Confederacy is the root cause. While we're at it, let's rename all roads and streets in Arkansas containing the names "Confederate", "Lee", "Rebel", "Dixie", and "Virginia" to Martin Luther King Blvd. That Flowers woman was right - it's time to stop playing and put an end to this SH*T!

  • ObjectiveFodder
    March 14, 2019 at 10:35 a.m.

    Hickerbillydom pride. Uneducated and last in every statistical progressive betterment. Fools. The wealthy one percent are laughing at the inbred infighting while the peasants fight over the delusional abhorrent societal history of elitism and authoritive control. Keep those evangelical fundamentalist churches fed with your paychecks. Wave the old rebel glory flag and fill your cheeks with Skoal. Morons.

  • RobertBolt
    March 14, 2019 at 10:38 a.m.

    The anonymous troll Packman continues to claim that 0% of shootings involve guns, but here he writes "four murders involving black folks in LR last week were directly caused by this damn star." In his insane fantasies, guns aren't involved in shootings, but stars are. He must be afraid to go outside on a cloudless night without Kevlar. I've heard of meteors as shooting stars, but his comment sounds more like a misfiring brain shooting off its mouth.