Legislation has been introduced that would ban the Confederate Battle Flag from the Michigan State Capitol, WXYZ reports.

An individual or an organization shall not display the Confederate battle flag inside or on the grounds of this state's capitol for any purpose.

Sen. Sylvia Santana, the sponsor of the bill, said in a statement, \

“The Confederate Flag is synonymous with hatred and racism and solely used to intimidate, all of which have no place at our Capitol. Historically sighted at lynchings and anti-civil rights marches, this flag has more recently been seen at white supremacist rallies and the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. It’s past time for us to ban it from our State Capitol, which is a place that should represent free speech and debate by all.”

Another recently introduced bill, Senate Bill 74, would declare Juneteenth as a state-recognized holiday. Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.

Sen. Santana said,

“The ending of this dark period of our nation’s history should be celebrated. But it should also serve as a somber reminder that Black and Brown people in America continue to feel the vestiges of this barbaric system, and we still have a long way to go to end systemic racism and ensuring equal rights for all.”

Both bills have know been referred to the Committee of Government Operations, of which Sen. Mike Shirkey is the chair.

According to  WXYZ, the new bills "are part of an ongoing effort to expand racial justice and equity in Michigan."

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