The Confederate flag was raised at a Mississippi Supreme Court building on Friday. The incorrect and incredibly controversial flag was reportedly in place for several hours before courthouse staff realized something was wrong.
Public information officer Kym Wiggins explained that the display of the Confederate flag was an honest mistake. A maintenance worker found the flag in one of several boxes labeled “Mississippi State Flag.” Assuming it was indeed the current Mississippi state flag, Mississippi State Capitol Police displayed it on the pole outside the Mississippi Supreme Court building.
As reported by MSNBC the Mississippi state flag actually features the Confederate symbol, which may have contributed to the confusion. Wiggins explains that the size of the flag make it difficult to tell:
“Without the wind blowing, you know, it’s about a 10-by-15-foot flag. You don’t hook it on and lay it out flat first. The bars and stars do show in the upper left corner.”
For many the Confederate flag is a symbol of “southern pride.” However, to others it is a painful reminder. As discussed on virginia.edu, civil rights law Professor Barbara Sullivan points out why, for some, the flag is a “symbol of hate speech:”
“… because its use in the South was a use intended to convey the ideology of white supremacy and the inhumanity and subordination of African-Americans.”
As soon as Mississippi Supreme Court staff was informed that they had mistakenly raised the Confederate flag, it was taken down and replaced with the correct Mississippi State Flag.