Flag debate needs cool-headed talk

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, November 4, 2015

If Mississippians don’t think the state flag — which contains a Confederate emblem — remains a hot-button issue, look no further than a Tupelo man’s apparent rage on Sunday.

Fortunately, no one was hurt Sunday after the man allegedly tossed a homemade bomb into a Tupelo Walmart store.

The man’s beef with Walmart was simple: the company’s decision to stop selling items featuring the Confederate battle flag.

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“They are the enemies,” the man told members of the media as he walked into court.

For that, the man was prepared to harm someone he didn’t know.

The man charged with throwing the bomb told members of the media Tuesday he planned to plead guilty to the crime.

If the man either pleads guilty or changes his mind and is found guilty, we hope he’s either treated for illness, if that’s the cause, or locked up for life, if he threw a bomb into a public store without knowing whom he might harm.

The incident underscores the problem with the flag debate — it’s not a debate about logic, but raw emotion by at least some people with a penchant for violence.

That combination often gets innocent people killed.

That Mississippi, in 2015, remains so divided by something so simple is baffling.

Further baffling is the continued denial by state flag supporters that the Confederate battle flag has not been corrupted by hate.

To continue to ignore that fact is foolish.

Cooler heads need to focus on bringing Mississippi together, with a new flag that can be a flag for all of us.