Goodbye, Racist Mississippi Flag, Goodbye!
For several years, Mississippi has been the last state to still have a Confederate-flag-themed state flag, but that's all about to change. State lawmakers vote Sunday to change the flag to something less traitor-y on Sunday afternoon, and by some pretty large margins — 91 to 23 in the House and 37 to 14 in the Senate.
Although Governor Tate Reeves (R) has long opposed any changing of the flag, he tweeted on Saturday that if he was sent a bill, he would sign it.
The legislature has been deadlocked for days as it considers a new state flag. The argument over the 1894 flag has… https://t.co/nQLuxeIVl5— Tate Reeves (@Tate Reeves)1593267839.0
On the Senate floor, legislators made their cases. Some of those cases were very good and others were, well, you can imagine.
Via Washington Post:
"In the name of history, I stand for my two sons who are 1 and 6 years old," said Sen. Derrick Simmons (D), who is black. "Who should be educated in schools, be able to frequent businesses and express their black voices in public spaces that all fly a symbol of love, not hate. A symbol of unity, not division. A symbol that represents all Mississippians, not some."
Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), one of the most vocal opponents of changing the flag, argued that doing so could lead to a slippery slope, saying attempts are being made nationally to challenge the nation's founding and history. He made a final plea for voters to be allowed to choose.
"After all," he said, "it's their state, not ours."
Again, no one is "challenging" the nation's founding and history. People are being more accurate about our founding and history, and therefore less reverential. The time of teaching kids about "The War of Northern Aggression" has passed.
We'd like to believe this is exclusively because enough state lawmakers were finally so embarrassed by their treason flag that it just became time to let it go, but it probably had at least a little push when the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Southeastern Conference -- or as everyone knows it in the South, simply the SEC -- announced that if they didn't change their flag, they wouldn't hold any championships there. End of the day, boycotts are always the only things that ever actually work.
In other words, money talks.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse