Legislature Could Debate New Flag Design - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Legislature Could Debate New Flag Design

   In a statewide vote in April, Mississippians,  by a 65% vote, said keep the 1894 flag, with the Confederate battle emblem flying. One state representative says that's enough to discourage any talk about a new flag. Representative Jim Simpson of Long Beach says, "It's been out before the people, there was an overwhelming vote. I don't think there's any sense in the legislature going back and revisiting that issue, at least not right now."

    Simpson says if some lawmakers think changing the flag is important, they should push the issue. But Simpson has other priorities. "I think budgetary issues are gonna be, gonna take the forefront on everything. USM Gulf Park is much more important to me than the flag issue. Tort reform's gonna be big and that's gonna be much more important to some members than the flag issue. I don't think there's the momentum behind the flag that it had at one time."

    Representative Frances Fredericks doesn't think lawmakers will be eager to talk about the flag either. Still, she thinks her colleagues will officially accept the current flag. "It won't be one I will vote for but I think that taking the mandate from the people of the state and since the majority of our house of representatives is white, we only have 35 black members, I'm sure it will pass overwhelmingly," Fredericks says.  That's why Fredericks doesn't predict any flag changes. But she says she hopes one day to have a flag that unifies the entire state. "We're talkin' about a country comin' together when within our own state borders we cannot come together so I would like to see us do something that would unify us rather than completely divide us again." Simpson predicts that won't happen for at least another few years,  if ever.

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