Historians Gather on Capitol Steps to Show Support For New Flag
April 9, 2001 at 10:57 PM CDT - Updated July 12 at 2:55 AM
Mississippi is standing in the eye of history according to several state historians who gathered on the steps of the state capitol this afternoon. Historians from nine of Mississippi's colleges and universities spoke about the importance of changing our state flag in next week's election.
"The state flag should represent all Mississippians, the current one doesn't, so I say it's time for a new one,"said Jerry Dallas from Delta State University.
Changing the flag, they say, will save the state from decades of discord and strife. The group believes that this is their chance to make a difference. If they don't, they believe our children and grandchildren will face the same issues when they reach our age. Many of these men have family members who fought for the confederacy, but also say they don't need a piece of cloth to honor their heritage.
"My heritage is safe and secure in my memory. My heritage is not determined by a configuration of stars and colors on a flag," said David Sansing from University of Mississippi.
Michael Ballard, a historian with Mississippi State says it bothers him when people use heritage as a reason to fly a flag he calls divisive. "Well, I'm afraid the people who say that are native born Mississippi southern whites. Yes, it is our heritage, I'm a 6th generation white Mississippian. But what about all of the other people who live in Mississippi, all the people who have moved here. All the black people who have roots in this state that go back as far as mine and maybe even further."
These men say Mississippians should stop thinking in isolation and start thinking as a group.