JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from Flag for All Mississippians Coalition.
On Thursday, the 'Flag for All Mississippians' Coalition applauded Southern Miss—the University of Southern Mississippi—and its President, Rodney Bennett, who ordered the Mississippi state flag taken down on all Southern Miss campuses as of October 28 Southern Miss now joins Ole Miss, which last week removed the flag from its campus. The flag is being taken down because includes the Confederate symbol, which many find to be a painful reminder of slavery and segregation.
According to the Clarion Ledger, President Bennett wrote an email to students stating, "While I love the state of Mississippi, there is passionate disagreement about the current state flag on our campuses and in our communities. I am looking forward to a time when this debate is resolved and USM raises a state flag that unites us."
The Flag for All Mississippians Coalition is also lauding Jackson State University, Alcorn State University and Mississippi Valley State University for no longer flying the flag on their campuses
"We commend Southern Miss for removing this divisive symbol from its campuses and urge other Mississippi schools and colleges to quickly follow suit," said Sharon Brown of the Flag for All Mississippians Coalition. "We were encouraged last week when Ole Miss removed the flag from its campus and are heartened by Southern Mississippi's action yesterday. The actions at Southern Miss, Ole Miss, JSU, Alcorn and Mississippi Valley—which also all no longer fly the flag—serve as proof that the desire for a state flag representing all Mississippians is shared by residents young and old alike."
The Flag for All Mississippians Coalition, representing a diverse group of Mississippians, is sponsoring the Flag for All Mississippians Act (Initiative Measure #55) that will amend the Mississippi State Constitution and provide that: "The flag of the State of Mississippi shall not contain or include any reference to the Confederate army's battle flag or to the Confederacy."
The ballot title for Initiative Measure #55:
"Should the Confederate battle flag or any reference to the Confederacy be removed from the State Flag?"
The ballot summary for Initiative Measure #55:
Initiative Measure No. 55 proposes to add the following language to the Mississippi Constitution: "The flag of the State of Mississippi shall not contain or include any reference to the Confederate army's battle flag or to the Confederacy." As an enforcement mechanism, a Mississippi citizen may petition the Mississippi Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus requiring the State, its political subdivisions, their agents, officers, or employees to comply with the amendment.