Trade and sports organizations are continuing to come out against the State of Mississippi flag. There is little doubt that the symbol will be changed. It also is clear that the change will not come from the state Legislature.

That will ring in sadness for those who want action — and action now. Why would a legislator agree to vote on an issue that seems to drive the emotional narrative more than any other? No matter how one votes, there will be hell to pay from segments of the voters. Those who want legislative change are hoping lawmakers bow to pressure. Putting the issue on the ballot is a wild-card. Remember 2016? Hillary Clinton on Election Day morning was an absolute shoo-in to be the president?

The people should have the right to decide in a statewide ballot. Nineteen years have passed since Mississippi voters decided 2-to-1 to keep the flag. Times — and attitudes — have certainly changed in the past nearly two decades. 

Lawmakers should demand that the flag initiative be put on the ballot for the November election. Just do it. Then the people get their chance. We do not need 16 months more of a flag debate where the craziest voices will be those ballyhooed.

How will it come out? The Leader-Call can point to predicting Donald Trump’s victory. We can show where we highlighted the silent coup attempt launched by the Obama Administration to oust the president. We like to say we can read the tea leaves pretty well:

The issue will be put on the ballot, hopefully in November. The text will read that the flag should be changed to one pushed by Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, which features red, white and blue lines with the state seal in the center. Most importantly for conservatives will be the inclusion of “In God We Trust.” Many on the left will cry foul, but they will lose. While the Hosemann flag is not the prettiest, it should appease the masses.

Mississippians will go to the polls in numbers rarely seen. Throngs will vote against changing the flag no matter what the new flag design is. “Heritage outweighs everything else,” they will say. Throngs will vote for it, not caring what replaces it. “Hate has no business in the world today,” they will say. And then there is the largest voting bloc — the sane, quiet, knowledgeable, God-fearing, good people of this state who will vote for what is best for the future of Mississippi.

We wouldn’t be surprised one bit to see the percentage about the same as it was in 2001 — with an opposite conclusion.

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