GREENVILLE — The state flag of Mississippi will no longer fly on Washington County properties.
The Delta Democrat-Times reports the Washington County Board of Supervisors voted Monday 3-2 in favor of removing the flag, which features a Confederate emblem, from county properties. The Concerned Ministers and Citizens of Washington County had been petitioning for the removal of the flag over the past year.
This was the third time community members have asked the supervisors to remove the flag since July. Each previous time, members voted to keep the flag.
Those who voted against the removal of the flag, supervisors Lee Gordon and Jesse Amos, say the issue is a state matter. Gordon says there’s “no doubt” the flag needs to be replaced, but that the “majority of Mississippians” need to vote for its removal.
Since 1894, the Mississippi flag has had the Confederate battle emblem in the upper left corner — a blue X with 13 white stars, over a field of red. Residents chose to keep the flag during a 2001 statewide vote.
However, complaints that the battle flag is more about promoting white dominance than preserving Southern heritage have been rising nationwide since the June massacre of nine black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Police called it a racially motivated attack by a white man who had posed with Confederate flags.
Several Mississippi cities and counties have stopped flying the state flag since the Charleston shootings. The state’s three historically black universities had stopped flying the flag earlier, and the state’s only black U.S. representative, Democrat Bennie Thompson, does not display the state flag in his offices because of the Confederate symbol.
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