GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Whether people want to talk about it or not, the Confederate emblem in the Mississippi state flag has become a hot topic. Now members of the Gulf Coast Business Council are taking a side in the discussion.
"At our board meeting on Tuesday, the board discussed the issue and voted that the Gulf Coast Business Council supports our elected leaders who want to have the discussion and change the state flag," GCBC President Jack Norris said.
The GCBC is a regional organization that focuses on issues members believe are important to the economic growth and competitiveness of the Gulf Coast. Even though Norris doesn't believe the current state flag hinders business from the coast, he does believe the conversation of changing the flag is important. He said he also sees it as an opportunity to unite all Mississippians.
"I think it'll send a message to the rest of the country and to the world to what we all know. That this state is a great place to do business, it's a great place to raise a family. We are very proud of our state and I think it'll help show the rest of the world what we all know and that we're very proud of the progress we've made in the state," he said.
We drove along Highway 49 and didn't notice many of the state flags outside of businesses, until we came to a Quality Inn. I spoke with the manager and she said the flag is a part of South Mississippi. But if the majority is wanting a change, she's with it.
"I have 100 percent respect for the argument and passion around the issue," Norris began to say, "but I think changing it can improve the image of the state of Mississippi."
As of right now, Norris said the organization does not have a strategy as to how they will further back up state leaders moving forward, in changing the state flag.