LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - In an emotional speech Tuesday, Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee announced an executive order that will stop the flying of the Mississippi state flag at any of the public facilities owned or operated by the City of Laurel, effective immediately.
“I don’t apologize for being emotional,” Magee said. “I have lived through some things with this flag and as they told Dr. King to wait. Time for waiting is over.”
Magee says the flag is a painful reminder of the past.
“It’s also been used by some as an image of hatred, divisiveness and violence, none of which in any way represents the ideals and principles of our great nation, our proud state, or our vibrant city,” Magee said.
He says all state flags at city-owned properties will now be part of a collection of historical references.
“Any such flags that are currently being so flown shall be respectfully retired to the local Laurel-Jones County Library, or other agency that will accept it,” Magee said.
The mayor is now asking the state legislature to retire the state flag as well.
“And to adopt a new flag that represents and signifies the values and principles upon which our state is now based, and which unifies the people who call our state home,” Magee said.