LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - In June, Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee was brought to tears as he ordered the removal of the old state flag from all city buildings, saying the Confederate emblem brought painful reminders of the past to many Mississippians.
Now, almost five months later, the City Beautiful is flying a new state flag.
“I think it’s great. I think it shows that Mississippi can move forward and that it is moving forward,” Magee said.
Magee looks back on what his mother and grandparents endured under the old flag and says he’s happy for the decision he made earlier this year and for raising the “In God We Trust” state flag the morning after Election Day.
“They would be feeling proud,” Magee said. “They would be feeling proud because I’m where I am and I believe that they are proud of the accomplishments that I am making.”
He says he’s also grateful for the voters who chose the new flag to represent Mississippi.
“It was set up that the people had to make the ultimate choice,” Magee said. “So, the people of Mississippi made the choice that we’re going to change this flag. We’re going to move into the 21st century finally, and I’m so proud of them doing that.”
The new flag is flying throughout the City of Laurel, including outside BancorpSouth and the Jones County War Memorial, which is located next to the Laurel/Jones County Library.