The interest from the national media on our flag debate has really just began picking up in the last few days. "The Los Angeles Times," "The New York Times," ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN, to name a few, have all sent reporters to Mississippi to find out why a piece of cloth so emotionally divides our state.
Reporters from national media organizations have heard many of the same comments about the Mississippi flag as members of the state media. Those comments include the standard "hate versus heritage" argument. The national reporters are quick to point out that similar flag debates in Georgia and South Carolina were settled by the elected officials in those states.
The referendum also sparked interest with the Los Angeles Times.(See link to the article below.) A story about the vote appears in Tuesday's edition. The way the reporter describes the Gulf Coast is anything but flattering. Jeffrey Gettleman writes, "the brackish Gulf Coast, dotted with tar-paper shacks and rusting shrimp boats, is no Hilton Head, South Carolina."
Gettlemen is referring to the threat of boycotts in South Carolina and Georgia that pressured politicians to take action. In his story, Gettleman says there's not much to boycott in Mississippi. But ABC reporter Andrew Colton speculates that boycotts aren't a big concern. Colton says, "In Mississippi the pressure is there too. But with riverboat gambling feeding the state's economy it seems few concerned with the backlash."
One story brings up the amount of money Mississippi is spending on the flag vote, and how some people believe that the three million dollars should go to something more important, like education.