JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV)– Mississippi’s last democratic governor who led efforts to change the flag in 2001 is talking about why this latest effort was successful.
When the governor signs the bill , former governor Ronnie Musgrove says it will be a victory.
Former governor Ronnie Musgrove reflects on his time in office. He remembers when the house speaker said under no terms would they pass any other flag.
” I said under no terms would I sign the existing flag,” said former governor Ronnie Musgrove, (D) Mississippi.
That’s when the referendum came into play. People voted to keep the existing flag.
Fast-forward to 2020 and now lawmakers have decided there needs to be a change.
“I am glad the governor came around on this issue, and I commend the speaker and the lieutenant governor for providing the leadership,” said Musgrove.
He says he agrees with the Mississippi Economic Council and the business community, like they did 19 years ago, coming forward saying the flag hurts the state by telling the country Mississippi is not open for business. He believes business opportunities were lost because the flag wasn’t changed then.
“For people to not think that other states, other businesses, others were not using it against us
I think is being pretty naïve,” said Musgrove.
To get to this point of changing the flag Musgrove says it’s a combination of public pressure, deaths including George Floyd’s, and the idea the Mississippi state flag is the last one to have the confederate battle emblem.