Flag controversy spurs conversation on college campuses

Flag controversy spurs conversation on college campuses

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The ongoing controversy surrounding the Mississippi flag, which boasts a Confederate emblem, is not absent from university campuses.

The University of Mississippi's Associated Student Body voted Tuesday night to remove the state flag from campus.

Mississippi State's student government passed a resolution in September that encouraged the state legislature to reconsider the state flag.

Now, The University of Southern Mississippi's Student Government Association may see legislation regarding the flag.

"I know that there are senators looking into legislation pertaining to the flag," USM SGA President Jeffrey George said.

George said he did not know the specifics of the legislation, but he said the senators are in the research stage, which comes before presenting legislation to the full Senate or committees.

"SGA is here to completely encourage the university to be open to everyone, to be inclusive in everything that we do," George said.

USM student Dezmond Smith said he would like to see the flag removed from campus.

"They say it's a sign of Southern heritage, but not everyone's Southern heritage is the KKK or the part that seceded from the Union back in the Civil War," Smith said.

His classmate, however, disagreed.

"It would be a disgrace to take it down," Kasie Truhett said, referring to its historic symbolism. "It's not going to do any justice to actually take it down."

Another USM student, Joshua Landrigan, said campus should be a place where everyone felt welcome.

"I think that if it offends anybody, then it should be removed," Landrigan said.

USM's Chief Communication Officer Jim Coll said it would be premature for the university's president to comment on a potential SGA resolution; however, he said USM President Rodney Bennett and the university's executive cabinet carefully considers each resolution passed by the SGA.

In June, USM released this statement regarding its position on the state flag debate.

George said students could contact their senator on this issue, or other issues, by clicking here.