/Here’s how lawmakers could change the Mississippi state flag today

Here’s how lawmakers could change the Mississippi state flag today

During their rise to power in the late 1800s, violent and racist extremist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan seized the Confederate battle emblem. The flag is still prominently displayed by those lone-wolf stragglers and sparsely organized groups that hold on to the same values. Extremists have displayed the Mississippi state flag alongside the Confederate battle banner at protests broadcast nationally in recent years. Despite the history and significance of the symbol, attempts to change the Mississippi flag failed. Recent political moments, including the 2001 referendum that saw Mississippians vote almost 2-to-1 in favor of keeping the current flag, have not provided enough staying power to those who want to see the flag changed by the state’s elected officials. Many Mississippians have hope that a change can be made thanks to the current movement in Jackson and other cities throughout the state. As Confederate iconography in the South is being removed, it’s not unusual for state leaders to do so. Leaders of major Southern cities removed statues, flags, and other Confederate symbolism from areas where protestors have not taken matters into their own hands. Even the United States Marine Corps banned the Confederate battle banner at Marine Corps installations last week (though they did make an exception for Mississippi’s state flag). Reeves Hosemann, Gunn and Gunn are likely to have the power to change the state’s flag. They would need the support of at least a simple majority in the Legislature. However, all three can easily whip majority votes. The process could be completed from start to finish in just one day if they have the support of at least a simple majority of the Legislature. However, all three can whip majority votes with ease. These are the legislative steps needed to change the state flag. Lawmakers often refer back to 2001’s flag referendum, and insist that Mississippians should decide the fate on a statewide ballot. The 2001 vote excluded the largest voter bloc, the millennials and the generation Z. That referendum was not open to Mississippians under 37 years of age. Adams, the organizer said that Adams was three years old in April 2001. “Now I can vote and pay taxes,” Adams stated. “I am also one of the few students to choose to remain in Mississippi after I graduated from the University of Mississippi. “Sometimes we have to admit that a new generation has emerged and things need to change.” Reeves played to his conservative base of older, white voters in the state and pointed out the 2001 vote in an Oct 2019 gubernatorial election and suggested that voters should once again decide the fate the flag. Hosemann also supported the “citizens must vote” narrative in late 2019. However, several Capitol lawmakers believe Hosemann’s perspective on politics may inspire a shift in thinking, especially during this time of great pain for many. Hosemann is a moderate politician who supports expanding Medicaid. He has worked hard to build strong working relationships with the Legislative Black Caucus leaders. Mississippi Today interviewed Hosemann in a podcast interview just days after his January election. They asked him if he knew he was widely considered by voters to be a politician that could better represent Mississippians, who had felt neglected in Jackson for many years. Hosemann admitted that he had heard the sentiment from Mississippians of every race and political background. His answer moved two of his staffers to tears. Hosemann said that he feels like a burden, a heavy weight, in his podcast interview with Mississippi Today. “My problems, I believe, are those that are discussed at the kitchen table. Hosemann said, “I don’t want so many people to be disappointed that I think I can improve their lives.” If you truly care about others, it’s easy to feel like this. It is a huge burden for anyone. I will do my best. I won’t disappoint anyone. It will be better than it is now.” Gunn is the only top Mississippi Republican official to publicly support the change of the state flag. Although his personal position hasn’t changed, no bills to alter the flag have passed through any House committees under his leadership. He stated that he did not believe he had enough votes or support from the Senate to push for the issue in sessions prior. Reeves wouldn’t be required to participate in theory. They could change the state flag if they had two-thirds of the votes in their chambers. They have already demonstrated their ability to do so on other issues this session. Many Mississippians believe this moment is different and that elected officials’ role is in perpetuating racism is the core of the movement. Protesters suggested that a push for the change of the flag from Hosemann, Gunn and Reeves could create unity that resonates with all Mississippians involved in the movement. Adams stated that the flag and other symbols are a celebration of a fictional Confederacy, which he said was sanitized, and a history that enslaved and traumatized my ancestors for over 400 years. “I see the flag, and it shows how much work remains to be done.”