Mississippi Flag: Petition Seeks To Change State’s Flag Amid SC Confederate Flag Debate

Meaghan Ellis - Author

Jun. 22 2015, Updated 4:30 p.m. ET

In the wake of the Charleston shooting, there are now citizens in another state looking to make flag changes. According to KHOU, a new petition has been launched demanding that the Mississipi state flag be changed. The MoveOn.org petition was reportedly launched over the weekend is demanding that the flag be changed in order to “reflect the present, not the past.”

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Mississippi’s current flag, which was adopted in 1861, still has an image of the controversial “stars and bars” design in its upper left corner. Although the other six Confederate states have opted for changes to their flags over the years, Mississippi’s flag remains the same, reports the Washington Post. But apparently, many Mississippians are not in agreement with the idea of keeping the flag design any longer. While some argue that the flag is a historical piece of history, some view it as a tainted symbol of segregation, racism, and hatred.

The petition addressed to the Mississippi State House, The Mississippi State Senate, and Governor Phil Bryant also includes a brief mission statement.

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“In the wake of the devastating hate crime perpetrated at Mother Emanuel AME in Charleston it is time to remove all symbols of hate and from state and other government buildings. It is time for us to come together and move into the future in solidarity.”

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The Mississippi flag petition comes less than a week after the horrific church massacre. The Charleston shooting that took place at Emanuel AME Church has become a driving force for a number of groundbreaking changes throughout the former Confederate states of America.

By now, everyone is probably aware of the heated debate that began last week when flags were lowered to half-staff in honor of the nine victims fatally shot by 21-year-old Dylann Roof. Although the gesture is commonly considered a form of respect, to some, it also magnified an underlying form of disrespect when the controversial Confederate flag was not lowered near the South Carolina state capitol, reports the Clarion-Ledger.

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Republican lawmakers have also echoed similar sentiments regarding the flag’s tainted symbolism. The overwhelming response led to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s reported order to have the flag removed. Now, Mississippi is hoping to have flag changes made as well. However, many Mississippi Republicans strongly disagree and have criticized those who believe the flag should be removed. On Satuday, June 20, shortly after Romney tweeted his opinion of the controversial battle flag, State Sen. Melanie Sojourner, R-Natchez took to Facebook with a scathing post in response to his views.

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“Mitt Romney’s call to action regarding the flying of one of this nation’s historical flags is an example of what is wrong with society today. The flag was no more the ‘source’ of horrible acts against mankind than a gun is the ‘source’ of someone’s death. The ‘source’ is the hatred and evil that resides in the hearts of some who live and have lived among us. We all have a responsibility to make certain that it is the ‘source’ we address and not place blame on something that alone could do no harm. Simply placing blame on something that some see as a symbol only perpetuates the problem.”

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Of course, Mississippians and social media users have expressed mixed reviews where the Confederate flag is concerned. Some support the decision to remove the flag while others adamantly insist the Confederate flag is being subjected to scrutiny due to the actions of a troubled and misguided young man.

Do you think Mississippi’s flag needs to be changed? Share your thoughts.

[Photo by Bill Colgin/Getty Images]


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