After a heated debate following the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting last June, Mississippi remains the only state with an image of a Confederate flag still flying from their state capitol.
Now Mississippi has hosted a serious debate about whether or not the proud Southern state should still be allowed to display the symbol of slavery.
Many people, liberals and conservatives alike, are demanding that Mississippi replace the Confederate symbol with stars or the state’s official tree and flower – the beautiful magnolia.
However, staunch conservatives defend the 122-year-old flag. They also threaten to take away state funding from places that refuse to fly it.
“My daughter and her family live in Texas,” said the state House Speaker Pro Tempore Greg Snowden. “You go out there and there’s a Texas flag on every corner. You don’t see that in Mississippi.”
Snowden proposes having two state flags so residents can choose which image to fly in their yards.
Following the racist shooting in Charleston, the Confederate flag has been willingly removed from many parts of the country.
“As a Christian, I believe our state’s flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed,” said Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn of Mississippi after the shooting.
While it’s easy to see why the stars and bars are a symbol of racism, segregation, and slavery, others argue that it’s a harmless piece of history – even after the South Carolina shooter posed with the rebel flag before killing a church full of African-Americans.
“It’s just a piece of cloth that flies on a stick, and certainly that is a decision that even the most common citizen can have an opinion about and they’re entitled to have that opinion,” said attorney Greg Stewart, who has led the effort to preserve the state flag, according to ABC News.
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