. . .but I told you so: our state legislators lack the courage to decide the state flag issue for themselves. Even Phil Gunn, a Republican who led the charge to change the flag after last year’s massacre in a South Carolina church, now wants to turn the issue over to the people. I am as unsympathetic towards people who look at the Confederate emblem and see “heritage, not hate” as I am towards people who claim the Civil War was fought for states’ rights, not slavery. Such views have no grounding in fact. Sadly, such views have too much traction in our state.
By ceding this issue to “the people,” our legislators will only help Mississippi stand in its own way once again. Don’t get me wrong. Other crucial issues stand before the legislature this session: our crumbling infrastructure, the funding formula for the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, the “school choice” bill, ethics issues raised by the Clarion-Ledger. Debate over these issues will be–should be–spirited, and dealing with a symbol won’t make them go away. But our flag issue should not even be an issue. Anyone who claims that the current state flag represents all Mississippians is guilty of willful ignorance at best.
I am proud to say that our school has but one flag, the flag of the United States of America, flying outside Hooper Science Building.