JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi has around three million people that call our state home, 38% of the three million being African Americans - nearly 1.2 million people. That means Mississippi has a higher percentage of African Americans as part of the overall population than any other state in the country.
And yet, here we are, the only state that still has a Confederate emblem as part of our flag.
The pandemic forced us to work together, however, we are still very divided. It should not be that way. To Governor Reeves, Lt. Governor Hosemann and Speaker Gunn, you have the power to do something to create more unity here in Mississippi.
Here’s what Speaker Gunn said in 2015: “We must always remember our past, but that does not mean we must let it define us. As a Christian, I believe our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed. We need to begin having conversations about changing Mississippi’s flag."
And here we are, five years later, and nothing has happened. If ever there was a time we need a new state symbol, now is that time. After the past two weeks, hopefully you get that.
There is a proposal in the legislature that would give Mississippians the option to choose from two flag designs, neither with the Confederate image. We need to move that legislation forward, getting in front of this change now, eliminating this polarizing image that impacts our effort to recruit businesses, employees, students, and events to our state.
The three of you can make this happen. Please, stop being tone deaf. Be on the right side of history. Let’s have a state flag that represents ALL Mississippians, that creates pride in our state rather than division.