In the wake of Charleston church shootings, in South Carolina, when the shooter was photographed holding the confederate battle flag, states are considering removing the emblem from public institutions. Additionally a Mississippi congressional representative plans to remove it from House chamber in Washington, D.C., as well.
On Monday, a group of Mississippi lawmakers and academics discussed whether it was appropriate to maintain in public view the confederate emblem, which many African Americans find offensive and a sign of racial hatred.
On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson from Mississippi (photo) introduced a resolution to remove the symbol from the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Thompson, who is the only African American member of his state’s congressional delegation, hopes that the symbol of intolerance and hate would be removed from the halls of Congress.
But back in his home state, lawmakers are debating whether a change in the state flag should be put to a public vote as some regulators proposed or not. Tony Yarber, the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, believes that state legislators should change the flag, which he deemed “a vestige” linked to a shameful period.
Though critics of the change said that removing the confederate emblem would represent denying the U.S. history, Mayor Yarber replied that in Jackson there are currently two history museums under construction designed to educate new generations about the past.
Moreover, state Sen. John Horhn believes that Mississippi needs “a more unifying symbol” to grant its residents a more accurate picture of their true origins. He added that the flag belonged to the Mississippi History Museum.
“It might at some point have described who we were, but it does not reflect who we have become,”
Sen. Horhn added.
The University of Mississippi also called for a change in the flag. Some leaders of the university said that the confederate emblem did not represent the “core values” of its community including respect for other races and civility.
Currently, Mississippi is the only U.S. state to feature the confederate saltire in its official flag, although six more states have designs that point at the confederate emblem more or less obviously.
Mississippi’s flag is in use since 1894 but as it became more and more controversial a referendum was held 14 years ago. Back then, about two-thirds voted to keep it.
Virginia also plans to remove confederate symbols from public conscience as governor Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday that he would remove the symbol from Virginians’ license plates.
Image Source: Huffington Post
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