Tensions are high as Mississippi state flag debate continues

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JACKSON, Miss (WJTV) – Tensions are high and the lines are drawn on the future of Mississippi’s controversial state flag.

The flag still flies amidst strong rejection by some colleges, athletes and businesses. It’s an emotional issue from those who support keeping the current flag.

“I served my country from 1970 to 1973, and this flag, Mississippi means something,” said Randy Lackey, a supporter of the current flag.

Those who oppose the current state flag are also expressing frustration.

“We do believe it’s time for change, but we don’t want to be hasty in just putting something else up there I believe we need to take down the old and then have a vote for the new,” Amy Rylander, Flag of Hope designer said.

Legislative minds are shifting on the issue. Two House Republicans, Representatives Nick Bain and Trey Lamar, have voiced retiring the current state flag.

Leading Democrats like Senator Sollie Norwood said they’ve been at the table and awaiting Republican leaders to step up.

“We’re going to start losing students. We’re going to start losing business, industry. So I think it’s, we’re going to see the results of failed decisions,” Norwood said.

But while there could be a change, everyone will not be on board, including Lackey, who demonstrated in the rain circling the State Capitol.

“This is not the Confederate battle flag , this is the flag of the state of Mississippi. I’ve been all over this country there’s no other place I’d rather live than right here,” he said. “I’ve got good friends that are white and black . There’s bad people in all races. They need Jesus in their life is what they need. And they just need to get over it, and we need to move on.”

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