Without much fanfare and with little objection, the Mississippi Legislature and then Gov. Tate Reeves finalized the changing of the State of Mississippi flag. The official change came after an overwhelming majority of voters chose to make the change.
The change has been a long time coming and the state will be better off for it. Businesses and industries that might have shunned the state because of the divisive “stars and bars” symbol so associated with hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and White supremacists will now look upon this state for all it has to offer. That could have immediate effects on Jones County, which has plenty of ready-to-go land for the next big industry.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Southeastern Conference will now reconsider having national tournaments played in Mississippi. Last summer, both entities said they would not allow national tournaments to be played in the state.
And while it is terribly unlikely a national championship-sized event will be played in the state, college baseball regionals and super regionals as well as basketball tournaments are common.
Opponents of a flag change continually pointed to a vote in 2001 where two-thirds of Mississippi voters elected to keep the state flag. The minimal opposition to this latest choice of a state flag was that the voters did not have a chance to choose the former flag, only to vote “yes” or “no” on the overwhelming choice of the state flag commission for the new flag. We are glad the voters did not reject the new flag, which would have brought the debate back to the table for most of 2021. Inevitably, the flag was going to be changed.
The voters recognized that. Now we have a new flag for Mississippi. A new day for the state is dawning. Now it is time to unleash the potential without inflicting wounds to ourselves.