Winter right in calling for calm after election

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 20, 2001

Former Mississippi Gov. William Winter called for calm Wednesday in the wake of the turmoil surrounding this week’s flag election.

As usual, with the accuracy of a fine marksman Winter’s wisdom was right on the mark.

Like many Mississippians involved with promoting our state, the former governor was disappointed after voters chose to keep the current flag and its Confederate emblem.

But rather than continue to fight the battle, Winter wants people on both sides of the debate to simply use restraint and &uot;let the dust settle&uot; before making the next move.

He’s absolutely correct in doing so.

Racial wounds and prejudices have become open and raw once again, sparked by the hate and love for a piece of cloth. The issue was simple: which flag best represents our state. But it’s become a rehashing of the causes of the Civil War along with lots of other side issues.

Now some people are considering an economic boycott of our state. We hope it doesn’t come to that.

Although an economic boycott might be effective in eventually twisting enough arms to get the flag changed, the side effects could be devastating.

Rather than considering a boycott – which will certainly polarize and bolster avid support from opposing sides – we wish each side involved would let things settle down a bit.

The last thing Mississippi needs is to prolong the divisiveness. At some point we as a state must come together and resolve the issues that sparked emotion in the flag election. But for now, perhaps just letting the dust settle and avoiding another battle is a wise move.