‘About Healing and Reconciliation’: Legislative Fight For New State Flag Continues

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Mississippi will have its legislative showdown over a new State flag, Democratic leadership said Tuesday in a press conference outside the Capitol building, in the fading days of the coronavirus-extended 2020 session. “Before we leave here, we’ll be in a position to take a vote on the flag, up or down on some measure that will be able to get rid of the flag,” House Democratic Leader Rep. Robert Johnson, D-Natchez, stated.

“We need a flag that unites us, not divides us,” Senate Minority Leader Derrick Simmons, D-Greenville, said at the same press conference. “We need a flag that is about healing and reconciliation, and not about hate. Now is the time to act “to remove and replace that Confederate flag.”

The pressure on the Mississippi Legislature to change the state flag continues to mount today, with a coalition of legislators, business associations, sporting institutions and religious congregations speaking out against the Confederate iconography on the Mississippi State Flag.

Today, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, Philip Gunn and an enormous swath of business leaders, represented by the Mississippi Economic Council, publicly joined calls for an immediate change to the state flag without a referendum.

“The Legislature in 1894 selected the current flag and the Legislature should address it today. Failing to do so only harms us and postpones the inevitable,” Hosemann said in a statement released early today.

Baptists on Board for a New Flag

The Mississippi Baptist Convention held a press conference yesterday in which its executive committee unanimously called for a new state flag that no Mississippians see as “a relic of racism.”

Jim Futral, former executive director-treasurer of the MBC board, said the responsibility lies with the Legislature. “We're not asking you to rewrite history,” he said. “That is an impossibility. But we can impact the future. And we can write a script for

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