Future of flag and state up to voters

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 17, 2001

After months of debate, the future of Mississippi’s flag will be decided today as thousands of residents head to the voting booth.

And, unlike most elections in which voters must choose among a myriad of candidates, today’s ballot will be simple: the existing 1894 flag design and the proposed new flag design.

While the choices may be simple, casting a ballot – and the emotions behind the decision – will be anything but simple.

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The present flag has become the subject of debate in recent months because a portion of the flag contains a Confederate emblem.

Some people – both black and white – see the current flag as offensive.

Many people feel that while using the Confederate symbol in the flag may show a tie to the state’s history, its use by hate groups has tainted the symbol forever in the eyes of the rest of the nation.

Mississippi has enough problems without having to deal with yet another black eye – which is what the rest of the world sees when it looks at our current flag.

As voters enter the voting booths today, we hope they consider what’s best for Mississippi’s future.

We think that while a new flag won’t solve the state’s problems, it will go a long way toward improving the negative image the state has outside our boundaries.

We urge every registered voter to head to the polls today and cast their ballot – regardless of the choice.