Flag debate won’t be resolved by court

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 24, 1999

On the surface the battle seems silly. At its center is a simple piece of cloth with a few symbols and colors. But the debate is over whether Mississippi should keep remnants of a symbol of the Confederacy woven into the cloth of the state flag.

While the debate has become more talked about in recent years, it has, no doubt, been the subject of controversy in one form or another since the first day it appeared.

Now as the issue rages in other state’s such as South Carolina, the issue is set to be discussed by the Mississippi Supreme Court.

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Earlier this year, the court chose to revisit a six-year-old challenge by the NAACP. Soon the court will begin discussing the constitutional nature of the flag.

It may seem simple, but this is a case much deeper than colors or symbols. The meaning behind that simple piece of cloth is as divided as the two camps at the center of the debate.

One side sees the flag as a mere symbol of our history – nothing more, nothing less. And while, they may not be proud of everything their ancestors may have done hundreds of years ago, they are proud of them still.

The other side comes at the issue from a completely different angle. Sure, they see the flag as a symbol of history, but also of the hatred and bigotry associated with slavery.

Both arguments have merit.

Regardless of what the Supreme Court ultimately decides, it will certainly draw fire from whichever camp feels wronged by the decision.

But neither time nor a Supreme Court decision is likely to change hard-headed people with unwavering opinions on either side of the debate.