The truth is that the Mississippi flag is nothing more than a straw man, a focal point for the frustration people feel against a rising tide of people who feel entitled, people who trash history and haven’t worked for what they have.

In 2001, the voters went to the pole and voted to keep or replace the Mississippi flag, 36 percent of voters wanted change. That is equal to 1 in 3 people voted to replace it; when 2 in 3 people voted to keep it. The voters spoke very loudly and very clearly to all of us.

It is not hard to make a statement about what one thinks is racist when the history in which an item was most visible was during a time of history that no longer has any direct living connection. It’s even easier to make the case for a flag being ‘racist’ when the victor of a conflict is the one that writes the history, and in that misconceptions thrived. The idea of a “Battle” flag is strictly held as being a flag used as a rally that is different from the “common” flag. Then our (the United States) flag is a “Battle” flag because it was flown as direct conflict to the at the time, common flag, the British flag.

There is more that could be said, however it breaks down to cultural identification. It still stands a symbol to resist and break away from the whole, that if you choose to own and fly such, that you are a rebel. That you have meaning and your culture is not the same as others. Racial meanings are only attached by those that wish to discredit others and are reinforced time and again by the same individuals that point to every instance of a symbol used as being racially divisive. It becomes a self serving point; call it racist, those that are racist will use it and it will be pointed at as racist. Cycle repeats.

Some folks use the Mississippi flag debate to solve racism — a problem that would not be erased by a replacement of the Mississippi flag.

When I look at the Mississippi flag and even when I just think about it, I see honor, duty, courage, sacrifice, loyalty and devotion.

History is written by the victor. The North won the war, so they get to write the history of why the Civil War was fought, saying that all Southerners were racist slave owners, yet 90 percent of Confederate soldiers did not own slaves, and there were also black Confederate soldiers. You can educate ignorance, but you can’t fix stupid.

This is not the flag of the confederate states — this is the confederate battle flag that was used on the battlefield. People clam it is offensive because hate groups use it. It’s time y’all had a reality check. The KKK used the American flag during protests. How come that’s not considered racist? But when the confederate battle flag is in the corner of the Mississippi flag it’s considered racist?

If you think the Confederate Flag is a symbol of racism you need a history lesson. The Northern economy depended on slavery, and so did the Southern states. The US flag flew over slavery for 86 years, the Confederate Battle flag, flew for only 4 years. Who ever says otherwise is ignorant.

Douglas Blakeney


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