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Delta State latest to call for change in state flag

DSU LOGO_WhiteoverGreenIn a statement recently released, Delta State University joins a host of others around the state and has called for a change in Mississippi’s state flag.

Cities, towns, counties and schools across Mississippi have taken stands against the flag recently, including Oxford and Greenwood voting to remove the flag from public places this week.

As for the public universities, all but Mississippi University for Women has either released a statement denouncing the flag or has taken it down altogether.

In the statement released by Delta State, it says. …

As Mississippi’s most racially diverse public university, Delta State proudly embraces our region, heritage, and people.  Despite being located in an area characterized by some as a place of poverty and racial inequality — the Mississippi Delta — Delta State has successfully recruited students and faculty from diverse backgrounds.  We are leading conversations about race relations and building stronger communities — most notably through our award-winning race relations conference.

In many respects, Delta State University is a cultural mecca, and we celebrate this multicultural identity associated with our people, musical heritage, literature, and the arts.  Those who visit the university and the Delta from around the country and abroad deserve to know we are a welcoming community.

Delta State is home to Mississippi’s only collegiate swimming and diving program, and boasts state-of-the-art facilities. Yet Delta State is not allowed to host NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships due to the design of Mississippi’s current flag.  The NCAA has advised that “…the Confederate flag is a symbol of oppression to many of our players, fans and coaches.  It also believes that holding NCAA pre-determined championship events in Mississippi is not in the [sic] keeping with the established criteria.”

Delta State University stands as a living testament to the successes of equality, fairness, and social justice.  We will continue to recognize and reflect on Mississippi’s history, but we will also continue to provide leadership throughout the state and beyond in advancing the understanding and appreciation for our differences and our common challenges in the region.

For these reasons, Delta State University supports making a change to a symbol, such as Mississippi’s state flag, that promotes divisiveness and serves as a barrier to understanding.

Four public universities in the state do not fly the flag: Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Alcorn State University and Mississippi State University, which voted to not fly the flag on campus in 2001.

Mississippi voters decided in a 2001 election to keep the flag the state has had since Reconstruction, with the Confederate symbol in the upper left corner. People who support the banner say it represents history and heritage and results of election should be respected. Critics say the flag is a divisive reminder of slavery and segregation that hurts Mississippi’s image.

The Tupelo City Council heard comments Tuesday from people for and against removing the state flag from city property. The council is asking Attorney General Jim Hood for an explanation of state laws about displaying the flag.

The capital city of Jackson stopped flying the Mississippi flag at City Hall several years ago. Among the local governments that have removed the flag from public property in recent weeks are Clarksdale, Columbus, Grenada, Hattiesburg, Leflore County, Magnolia and Starkville. The Gulf Coast Business Council and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce have both endorsed removing the Confederate emblem from the flag.

Petal aldermen voted in July to keep flying the state flag on city property.

— from staff and wire reports

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13 comments

  1. “Delta State University stands as a living testament to the successes of equality, fairness, and social justice.”

    And just think of it – they’ve had all that success with the current state flag in place.

    It seems that their only real beef is they cannot host NCAA championships.

    • That’s exactly right! I am a proud graduate of Delta State and am proud that I was a part of the 1989 Women’s basketball National Championship team – which was held at the Delta State coliseum. Needless to say, I am disappointed. All this just so they can hold a swimming event?

  2. Delta State looks to be just as progressive as California and New York. First they took God out of everything because it might offend an atheist. Now they condemn their own state flag. Perhaps they should stop serving saltines in the cafeteria because I’m offended when I hear the word “Cracker.”

    In 2001, Mississippians went to the polls and an overwhelmingly majority decided to keep the 107-year-old state flag that contains the Confederate battle cross in its upper corner. If you don’t like it, you’ve got 49 other states you can relocate to.

    Let’s face it, without the Confederate battle cross, we’re just sideways France. http://goo.gl/87lZ0t

    Don’t let your policies be as dysfunctional as your administration. Grow a pair Delta State.

  3. As a Delta State graduate, I full support this statement released by the university and call on the governor and legislature to take the necessary action to move our state beyond this divisive issue.

  4. Mississippi State university did not vote to remove the flag in 2001. It currently flies on campus.

  5. I would like to put forward a proposal for the flag issue:

    1.Adopt the 1861 Magnolia flag or the 2001 proposed flag as the official flag of Mississippi.
    2.Adopt the 1894 (current) flag as the Official Historical Mississippi state flag

    This may end the controversy and satisfy all involved.

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