Reactions on lawmakers’ vote to replace Mississippi state flag

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV)- Mississippi politicians, university presidents and the Southeastern Commissioner are speaking out after a historic vote led to the removal of the Mississippi state flag.

State Auditor Shad White released the following statement:

“This is a historic day for Mississippi. A new flag means Mississippi has moved past old divisions, and that is cause for celebration. Any time a big decision is made, some will like how it happened and some will not. No process designed by man is perfect. If you’re frustrated, I’d encourage you to think of what today means to a rising generation of Mississippians. Call your children or grandchildren today (we should all talk to family more often anyway), ask them how they feel about the flag change, listen, and talk. Let’s come together in love for our home, Mississippi, and with eyes toward our bright future. We can look forward to having a flag emblazoned with ‘In God We Trust,’ the real cornerstone of our republic.”

State Auditor Shad White

U.S. Senate Democratic Candidate Mike Espy called this day “historic.”

The Mississippi Senate just cast its final vote. It’s official, y’all! The Mississippi state flag is coming down! I hope all Mississippians have a chance to celebrate this historic day.

Mike Espy via Twitter

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch tweeted the following:

“This is a historic day for Mississippi, a day for us to all move forward, together, toward our very best future. I look forward to seeing the Commission’s new flag design with our State motto – In God We Trust – unifying us all under a single banner.”

Lynn Fitch via Twitter

Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum also released a statement regarding the bill’s passing.

“I heartily commend the Mississippi Legislature for their vision, commitment, and courage in voting to give our state a new flag in which all Mississippians can feel unity and pride. I am also appreciative for the support of our governor in this endeavor. Our elected officials provided a thoughtful, engaged audience to university leaders and to our MSU contingent who traveled to Jackson to respectfully advocate for change.

“Yes, a new flag promises to make a difference in how the rest of the world views our state – but I believe the real value of this change will be in the way that we view ourselves. The Bulldog family played a significant role in bringing this change about. Whether among our lawmakers or as citizens engaged as advocates at the Capitol, on the phone, or on social media, Mississippi State was effective in joining a sweeping coalition of Mississippi stakeholders in making this victory possible.

“Now, we must continue the long and complex work of effecting meaningful racial reconciliation, ensuring social justice, and providing opportunities for economic prosperity for all Mississippians.”

Statement from Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum

Southeastern Commissioner Greg Sankey issued a statement thanking universities for their leadership and commended state lawmakers for their decision.

The full statement is below:

“I am proud of our universities’ leadership, and the engagement of student-athletes and coaches in the efforts to change the State of Mississippi flag. The agreement to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the flag is a positive and appropriate action, and I applaud the Mississippi House of Representative and Senate for today’s action. I am also grateful for Governor Reeves’ openness to sign a bill to change the flag. As I have frequently said, our students deserve opportunity to learn and compete in welcoming environments. Today’s action is welcomed in the spirit of this goal.”

Greg Sankey via Twitter

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