Campaign pushes for "flag for all" in Mississippi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Campaign pushes for "flag for all" in Mississippi

One Flag for All Mississippians Coalition wants to see the confederate battle emblem removed from the state flag. (Image Source: WLOX News) One Flag for All Mississippians Coalition wants to see the confederate battle emblem removed from the state flag. (Image Source: WLOX News)
Volunteers say more than 100,000 signatures are needed to get the initiative on the ballot  this November. (Image Source: WLOX News) Volunteers say more than 100,000 signatures are needed to get the initiative on the ballot this November. (Image Source: WLOX News)
The coalition is behind Initiative 55. (Image Source: WLOX News) The coalition is behind Initiative 55. (Image Source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The future of Mississippi's state flag could soon end up in the hands of voters. Three separate groups have proposed ballot amendments that would protect the current flag, but one group wants to change the flag.

Those involved in the grassroots movement say they're optimistic their initiative will be placed on this November's ballot.

“We're focusing on getting people involved in this issue. They don't have the education on what we're trying to do so we're wanting to educate the people on this issue,” said volunteer Gail Williams-Hockenhull

Williams-Hockenhull and Lea Campbell are two of the south Mississippi volunteers for the one flag for all coalition. The group is behind Initiative 55, a ballot measure to change the state constitution and remove the confederate battle emblem from the flag.

“Our efforts now will be on gathering the required number of signatures so that we can get the ballot initiative on the ballot in November 2016,” said Campbell.

If the duo doesn't receive the more than 100,000 signatures needed by Aug. 1, the initiative will not appear on the 2016 ballot. However, Campbell remains hopeful. 

“We have recently received the endorsement from 50 pastors from churches statewide. That's a really positive development,” said Campbell.

One of those pastors is from Gulfport. Pastor J.L. Franklin has signed the petition, and says he and his congregation plan to support the coalition as best they can.

“I'm hoping that in 2016 people will see the need to unite Mississippi and we're going to do our very best to inform our congregation and fellow pastors in the area to sign up and be a part of this because there's such a need for it,” said Pastor Franklin.

At this time, Initiative 55 is the only ballot initiative that proposes to change the flag. There are three others that call for the flag to remain the same.

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