None of Mississippi's public universities are flying the state flag now. Delta State is the final school to take it down. But what they're putting up instead is getting new attention.
The Mississippi Economic Council's bicentennial banner will take the place of the state flag on Delta State's campus.
Mississippi's two hundredth birthday is next year. And a Delta designer created a brand new symbol for the occasion.
"We have a lot to be proud of in this state and so we thought this would be a good option," said Mississippi Economic Council President and CEO Blake Wilson.
The Mississippi Economic Council's bicentennial banner is just that. Flags don't typically have writing. That's why it isn't being called a flag. But in Delta State's case, it will take the place of the state flag.
"The issue is celebration and that's all we're doing with this," noted Wilson.
MEC wasn't sure what the reaction would be. But they won't be disappointed if it becomes a catalyst for something more.
"If it evolves into a positive discussion over time that may result in Mississippi finding a new flag, we'd be very supportive of that," explained Wilson. "We've been very supportive of a new flag design for Mississippi. And this may be what so many have suggested."
State flag supporters have argued they are trying to preserve their heritage by keeping the controversial design flying. Others say they need to have a broader viewpoint.
"I understand the people that don't want to change the flag and the rhetoric that they talk about," said resident Walter Porter. "But this is totally new and different and that's what Mississippi needs. They need outsiders to see them as a different state and this will really help."
Nearly 200 businesses around the state are already flying this banner.
MEC says they've already ordered flags requested by Delta State and hope to have them there by next week. It's also available for sale if others businesses are interested in flying it, whether that's with or without the state flag.
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