/Lawmakers consider adopting second state flag or letting voters decide

Lawmakers consider adopting second state flag or letting voters decide

Gunn, Mississippi’s most prominent Republican official, was the first to call for the change of the flag. He didn’t speak on Friday about the specific options being considered, but he stated that his view on the matter hasn’t changed. Gunn stated that the Legislature has two options: to either take the leadership role or to put it up for a referendum. “… “I’ve always maintained the belief that the Legislature should assume the leadership role.” However, Gunn stated that the reality is that there is not enough votes in the Legislature for it to act independently, at least during this session which ends on Friday. Gunn said that there are still discussions, and that he is open to the idea of submitting the issue for a referendum. Gunn stated that they are still having those discussions and monitoring votes. “… “If all we can get it is a referendum then so be it,” Gunn said. Rep. Dan Eubanks (R-Walls) stated that “The Mississippi Legislature does not have the right to deny the people of Mississippi a voice in this matter.” However, many lawmakers oppose the idea of a referendum, arguing that it is the Constitution’s duty to act. In 2001, the issue was presented to Mississippi voters. 64 percent of them voted for keeping the current flag. Many lawmakers feel that if the vote of the people went similarly, then discussions about changing the flag will be forgotten for many years. The Southeastern Conference (which includes Mississippi State and the University of Mississippi) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, have both stated that they will not allow postseason events to be held in the state until the flag is changed by lawmakers. The NCAA ruling would affect the state’s private and public colleges and universities. It would also include college baseball regionals and women’s basketball regions. Andy Taggart is a long-time Mississippi Republican politician and vocal advocate of changing the flag. He said that he believes voters will approve a proposal for the flag to be changed if it was placed on the ballot. He said that he preferred the Legislature deal with the issue. He said that he thinks two flags is a poor option._x000D