Support growing for changing Mississippi’s state flag

Updated: Jun. 5, 2020 at 8:59 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - As conversations about racial injustice continue, many say it’s a fitting time to take down Mississippi’s state flag. Mississippi is the only state flag that still includes the Confederate battle emblem.

This MoveOn petition is calling for the removal of the Confederate emblem from Mississippi’s state flag. It’s garnered thousands of signatures in the last several days as the nation has more conversations about race relations. But it turns out, it’s not a new petition.

“I created this petition almost five years ago in the wake of the Charleston massacre at Mother Emmanuel AME," said Dr. Jennifer Gunter. “I actually didn’t do anything to get it restarted.”

Dr. Jennifer Gunter is a Jackson native now living in South Carolina. She hopes her home state can make the change but makes this note.

“Recent months have shown us that after you bring the symbol down," added Gunter. "You have to fight the system. So, this is just a step. It’s not an end game.”

Separately, there’s growing support on social media for making a switch to the Stennis flag. The social accounts posting these action steps that people can take.

Another Mississippi Native Duvalier Malone calling on the Governor to take executive action to remove the flag.

“That flag represents hate," explained Malone. "It represents intolerance. And there is no place for that in this current environment. And I think keeping the flag, all it does is it ignites another match on that fire of hate that we’re trying to calm down all across America.”

Malone is also calling on the Governor to denounce the Robert E. Lee and Confederate Memorial state holidays to move towards racial healing.

As a reminder, in 2001 Mississippi residents voted to keep the flag’s current design. Governor Reeves has previously pointed to that vote. He’s said if ever there was a change, it should be done by a vote of the people and not unilateral action by the Governor.

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