/Legislative leaders say they’re still short of necessary votes to change state flag

Legislative leaders say they’re still short of necessary votes to change state flag

“I have always been for it to change. Gunn stated that he is still looking for a way to make it happen at the end of his meeting with Hosemann. Monday’s meeting with Hosemann saw both the chambers of law and both political parties rejecting the idea of a second state flag. Gunn stated Monday that he did not believe the two-flag solution was a viable option. Republican Gov. Republican Gov. Delbert Hosemann said Monday that they were discussing many options and trying to get a feel for senators. Hosemann also met with several Senate Democrats, most of whom are opposed to both the two-flag solution and a referendum on the flag. They feel that the banner should be altered by the Legislature. Sen. Derrick Simmons (D-Greenville) asked, “Are you going to pass a bonds bill or a teacher raise by way of a referendum?” “We didn’t ask the people for their votes on those issues,” said Sen. Derrick Simmons, D-Greenville. Angela Turner Ford (D-West Point), chair of Legislative Black Caucus stated that the Legislature changed the state seal of South Carolina without asking the people to vote. She stated that the issue of flags should not be treated any differently. The Legislative Black Caucus, along with the 45-member House Democratic Caucus, said that they are against any proposal to have two state flags. They oppose the issue being put on the ballot. They say it is the Legislature’s responsibility to change the flag and they want a straight legislative vote. Reeves has not stated whether he supports the flag being changed, but he reiterated on Monday that a popular vote is the only way to change it. To override a gubernatorial vote against any legislative change, a two-thirds majority vote is required. This seems to be impossible. The symbol that Mississippi has used to symbolize white supremacy is again in the spotlight. However, the Republican leadership in Mississippi are now supporting reform. Republican Rep. Nick Bain, Corinth chairman of the House Judiciary, stated Monday that “our state is at an important point in its history where there is no other choice than to retire its current flag.” Bain was “no comment” as late last week on the combustible topic. Bain stated that “the impending economic, cultural and social pressures will create a storm this state cannot weather.” It is crucial that the legislature considers options for replacing the flag. This is an emotive issue, and I believe that the best political decision is to keep it. Bain said, “But, there comes an age when every generation has to make a difference for the better.” When my time in public office is over, I want my kids to be proud of the things I have done. “A vote to keep flag does not achieve this goal” Late last week, both the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference put pressure on lawmakers to change flag. Both groups threatened to stop hosting postseason collegiate sporting events in the state until the flag was changed. The NCAA was urged to take this decision by dozens of former and current college athletes. Kylin Hill, Mississippi State’s star runningback, tweeted Monday that he wouldn’t play football until the flag was changed. Rep. Trey Lamar (R-Senatobia), chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee said late last week that a flag is only meant to unify people around a common cause. The reality is that the Mississippi flag does not unify, but divides us unnecessaryly. I won’t sit back and watch as our college athletes lose their right to participate in post-season play before their home state fans because of a banner that doesn’t fulfill its primary mission to unify us. I will stand up to our student athletes. It’s time to change our flag. It is the right thing.” However, not all legislators agree. Rep. Ken Morgan (R-Morgantown) recently stated that he believes the flag should “stay as it is.” Morgan added, “I had two great, wonderful granddaddies who fought under this flag.” The House Democratic Caucus issued Monday a statement opposing two flags and a referendum vote. The statement stated that House Democrats were “prepared to vote against every measure except an up-or-down vote for change.” “The Confederate battle emblem is being removed from the state flag. This decision is one of those. It is our decision, and it is now.” However, Sen. Joey Fillingane (R-Sumrall) said that he believes most state senators do not believe the flag should change without a referendum. Fillingane stated that “a lot of people believe there should be a referendum like we had in 2001.” “That seems to reflect what most senators believe.”_x000D