Mississippi College Board Votes to Support New Flag Design
The state College Board has added its weight to groups pushing to retire the current Mississippi flag in favor of a new design, saying failure to act could hurt the economy and cost future NCAA postseason tournaments.
“It is a virtual certainty we would lose these games,” says board member Scott Ross of West Point.
The board unanimously adopted a resolution, offered by Ross, to support a new design that replaces the Confederate battle emblem in one corner of the 1894 flag with 20 stars on a field of blue.
It is important that the board take a stand even though the action “may not impact one single vote” when Mississippians go to the polls April 17 to decide the flag issue, Ross says.
The current flag has been criticized by Blacks and others who say its Rebel banner is a reminder of racism. Others argue the old flag is part of the state’s heritage.
“The NCAA is quite serious about penalizing” states and institutions that display the Confederate battle flag as part of their state banner, says Ross, a Mississippi State University graduate. “It is clear what will happen to us.”
The NCAA Executive Committee agreed last year to cancel future association-sponsored events in South Carolina if the flag was not removed from atop its state Capitol. It was removed and placed elsewhere on statehouse grounds.
The Georgia Legislature voted earlier this year for a new state flag design that shrinks the size of the Confederate symbol.
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