Governor not showing support for student-led initiative to remov - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Governor not showing support for student-led initiative to remove state flag

It's a symbol of hate, and it has no place on our campus It's a symbol of hate, and it has no place on our campus
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is not showing support for the student-led initiative to encourage the removal of the state flag from the University of Mississippi's Oxford campus.

At a press conference for a separate issue Thursday, Bryant said while he did not know much about the resolution that passed by the student senate this week, he thought it was emotionally driven.

"I think college students react a lot emotionally," Bryant said.

The resolution, which passed 33-15-1 after more than two hours of debate, encourages the state's flagship university to remove the state flag from campus. The resolution also encourages the state legislature to "hasten their pursuit of a new state flag."

Those who oppose the flag, which bears a Confederate emblem, consider it a relic of the past that hurts the university's efforts to be more inclusive.

"It's a symbol of hate, and it has no place on our campus," Ole Miss sophomore and Petal High School graduate Allen Coon said.

Coon was one of the students who led the passage of the resolution, and he said the governor was incorrect in targeting college students.

"It's not just college students," Coon said. "We're seeing people across the state saying this (flag) is not representative of us as Mississippians."

Mississippi's Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn was the first ranking republican to make a statement against the flag, followed by U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran, among many other prominent state and local leaders.

Mississippi State University's student government passed a resolution in September that also encourages the state legislature to reconsider the flag, and the student government president at The University of Southern Mississippi said a piece of legislation is in the works regarding the flag, although he did not know the specifics.

Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University and Alcorn State University have all removed the state flag from their campuses, but Bryant, referring to Ole Miss's resolution, said schools do not have that right.

"I don't think (students) have any legal authority whatsoever to determine what the state flag is and where it flies, particularly over public buildings," Bryant said.

Mississippi Code 37-13-5 (1) stated the state flag "shall be displayed" at all times when school is in session and that it is the duty of the school district to provide flags for display.

Coon said that, by using the "school district" language, it only applies to K-12 schools, not institutions of higher learning, which are run by the IHL, not school districts.

The Ole Miss resolution now goes before the interim chancellor for approval.

Copyright 2015 WDAM. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • 'Solo' sputters in takeoff with $83.3M at box office

    'Solo' sputters in takeoff with $83.3M at box office

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:54 AM EDT2018-05-27 15:54:44 GMT
    Sunday, May 27 2018 9:07 PM EDT2018-05-28 01:07:48 GMT
    (Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm via AP). In this image released by Lucasfilm, Alden Ehrenreich, right, and Joonas Suotamo appear in a scene from "Solo: A Star Wars Story."(Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm via AP). In this image released by Lucasfilm, Alden Ehrenreich, right, and Joonas Suotamo appear in a scene from "Solo: A Star Wars Story."
    The Han Solo spinoff "Solo: A Star Wars Story" came in well below expectations with an $83.3 million opening weekend at the North American box office.More >>
    The Han Solo spinoff "Solo: A Star Wars Story" came in well below expectations with an $83.3 million opening weekend at the North American box office.More >>
  • Man airlifted to hospital after water ski accident in Lamar Co.

    Man airlifted to hospital after water ski accident in Lamar Co.

    Sunday, May 27 2018 8:59 PM EDT2018-05-28 00:59:16 GMT
    Man airlifted to hospital after water ski accident in Lamar County; (Photo source: WDAM)Man airlifted to hospital after water ski accident in Lamar County; (Photo source: WDAM)

    A 40-year-old man was airlifted to the hospital after a water ski accident in Lamar County Sunday evening.

    More >>

    A 40-year-old man was airlifted to the hospital after a water ski accident in Lamar County Sunday evening.

    More >>
  • USM doubles down, captures C-USA postseason crown

    USM doubles down, captures C-USA postseason crown

    Sunday, May 27 2018 7:11 PM EDT2018-05-27 23:11:50 GMT
    The Golden Eagles will conclude spring drills at noon Saturday with the annual Black and Gold Game at M.M. Roberts Stadium.The Golden Eagles will conclude spring drills at noon Saturday with the annual Black and Gold Game at M.M. Roberts Stadium.

    For much of the 2018 season, the talk around Southern Miss baseball was the potency of the Golden Eagles’ big bats and potent offense. But over a five-day stretch at MGM Park in Biloxi, USM rode its pitching to claim a 2018 Conference USA Baseball Championship.

    More >>

    For much of the 2018 season, the talk around Southern Miss baseball was the potency of the Golden Eagles’ big bats and potent offense. But over a five-day stretch at MGM Park in Biloxi, USM rode its pitching to claim a 2018 Conference USA Baseball Championship.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly