JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A new poll shows significant attitude changes among voters on the Mississippi state flag, which bears the Confederate battle emblem. The flag is back in the forefront due to the heightened focus on race relations in the United States.
The survey was commissioned by democratic-leaning Chism Strategies. It provided a glimmer of hope for those wanting to see the flag changed.
“It’s 46 to 45 I mean that’s, it’s basically a coin toss at this point,” said Brannon Miller, Director of Voter Targeting at Chism Strategies.
Three years before, the Mississippi state flag was polled by Chism Strategies.
“It was 49, 41, right. Forty-nine percent favored keeping the flag, while 41 percent favored changing it. That’s a huge shift from 2001,” said Miller.
Nineteen years ago, 64 percent of Mississippians voted to keep the current state flag, while 35 percent opposed the measure.
“The only age group cohort in this poll that supported keeping the flag were voters age 65 and older. And so as the Baby Boomers and those older generations become smaller and smaller part of the electorate, I think we’re just a few years away from being at a point place where a majority of Mississippians, and maybe even a large majority of Mississippians, support changing the state flag.”
But support among races remains deeply divided. Sixty-one percent of white respondents want to keep the state flag. Eighty-four percent of African Americans want to replace the state flag.