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.
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