Is Mississippi's state flag something to be proud of, or something to get rid of? The issue has been resurrected this week, as the Orange County Bar Association in California takes measures to have it removed from a Civic Center in the city of Santa Ana.
The lawyers say the confederate symbolism on the flag represents racism and hatred. Democratic State Senator Sollie Norwood of Hinds County agrees.
"We should focus on issues that will bring us together rather than divide us," said Norwood. "The flag has a negative history, something to divide us. We need to look at bringing us together rather than divide us."
Senator Norwood has no problem with the Mississippi flag coming down in California. Republican State Representative John Moore of Rankin County doesn't either, but for different reasons.
"My immediate response is, what do I care about people that fly the Mexican flag proudly over a lot of their schools, their buildings in that state?" said Moore. "I think they have their own issues to deal with. It doesn't cause me any concern at all."
Mississippians could have changed the flag 13 years ago, when then-Governor Ronnie Musgrove spearheaded a referendum vote on replacing the flag with a stars and stripes design. On April 17th, 2001, voters flocked to the polls, but fewer than 40 percent voted yes.
Has Mississippi suffered under its flag?
"It does not give the state an opportunity to reap the benefits of the progress that we've made over the years because of the negative history that flag represents," said Senator Norwood.
"I'm proud of who I am and where I'm from," said Representative Moore. "Every flag will have a symbol on there, some configuration that someone can complain about."
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