Adams County one of few to approve new flag design

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Adams County voters narrowly picked a new state flag Tuesday but statewide the new flag lost horribly.

In unofficial numbers Tuesday, 5,616 or 52 percent of Adams County voters voted for the new flag and 5,064 or 47 percent voted for the old flag.

&uot;It seems to me, by way of a slight margin, the majority of people in Adams County are ready to move forward,&uot; said Adams County Supervisor Darryl Grennell.

As a surprise to Adams County officials, about 47 percent or 10,680 of Adams County’s 23,154 registered voters cast ballots Tuesday.

&uot;I really didn’t think it would be that high,&uot; said Election Commission Chairman Larry Gardner.

Election Commissioner Bob Barrett said much of the voting seemed to took place in the afternoon with officials estimating turnout at only about 10 percent at 3 p.m. with not all 20 Adams County precincts reporting.

&uot;It was a ground swell in the evening that was evident,&uot; Barrett said.

Many election officials said things went well Tuesday, including Gardner, who joked about an election without candidates having fewer hassles.

&uot;We didn’t have any problems with poll watchers this year (because) there aren’t any,&uot; Gardner said jokingly.

Except for rumors, election commissioners said they did not hear from bailiffs or receiving or returning clerks of any problems with people wanting to promote the opinion for one flag or another.

They did hear a rumor that someone was asked to cover a confederate flag tattoo because the state prohibits that symbol within 150 feet of the opening of a precinct, Gardner said.

Officials could not confirm the story but &uot;I’m wondering how that person reacted when they asked him to cover it,&uot; said Election Commissioner Evelyn Smith.

A slight problem was reported at a precinct at Morgantown Elementary School after Clark Jackson, with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, displayed the old flag outside the school. School officials asked him to leave but a sheriff’s deputy reportedly said Jackson was on in a county road and could stay there.

A poll worker at the Oakland precinct also said a man wearing a confederate soldier’s hat and a rebel decal on his shirt came inside and said hello but then left without causing a problem.

Many other poll workers also reported no problems or at the most they saw one person holding an old flag outside their precincts for a short time.

Natchez native Thomas McCoy decided to voice his opinion by driving around Adams County with an old Mississippi flag flying in the back of his truck.

He hoped the flag would encourage people to vote.

McCoy said the issue is not about race or prejudice but the fact that the old flag has represented Mississippi for many years.

&uot;If we take away everything that offends everyone sooner or later there won’t be nothing left,&uot; McCoy said.