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Delta Council latest to disown state flag, urging it be changed quickly

By TED CARTER

In another sign that momentum is building among civic institutions for ridding the Mississippi flag of the Confederate battle emblem, the Mississippi Delta Council has concluded the flag must change to reflect today’s Mississippi.

Otherwise, Mississippi is left with a flag that  reflects slavery and a rebellion against the United States, contend the Council and other civic and business organizations arguing for change.

In particular, neither the state’s economy nor its reputation can afford to maintain such unpopular symbolism, the Council said after a vote of its executive committee.

The Delta Council issued a special release Wednesday announcing the executive committee supports adopting a new state flag.

The change, the committee said in the press statement, would be “a timely and important message that would help the economy and the reputation of the state.”

State voters rejected dropping the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag in 2001. In the years since, appeals for changing the flag have come and gone. But a shift in national mood after recent police killings of African Americans have juiced new efforts to disconnect Mississippi from what flag foes say is a past of racism and slavery the Confederacy represents.

In today’s shifting sentiment, the current flag is harmful to the state’s image  “because its symbolism may send the wrong message to many Mississippians, as well as others who might overwise make investments in our state,” said the Council, an economic development and agricultural support organization for a couple dozen Mississippi Delta counties.

The remedy, the executive committee concluded, is for legislators to take action on changing the flag, “just as it did in 1894 when it adopted the current flag.”

Do this as “expeditiously as possible,” the committee urged.

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About Ted Carter