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Tunica County officials vote to stop flying Mississippi state flag

Updated: Jun. 22, 2020 at 5:01 PM CDT
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TUNICA COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - The Tunica County Board of Commissioners voted Monday to stop flying the Mississippi state flag because it uses the Confederate battle emblem.

The board unanimously passed a resolution to remove the flag from all county buildings and properties. One board member noted it’s the only state flag in the country still using the Confederate symbol.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday a weekend proposal to create a second flag “separate but equal” flag was well-intentioned but would only cause division in the state.

“I don’t believe it would satisfy either side of this debate, and I don’t think it is a viable alternative,” Reeves wrote on Twitter.

The governor has said repeatedly that voters should decide whether to change the flag.

Last week, the NCAA banned Mississippi from holding any championship events because of the flag’s use of the Confederate battle emblem, which could cost the state millions of dollars.

On Friday afternoon, the state’s eight public universities released a joint statement in support of changing the flag.

Mississippi’s public universities respect the NCAA’s position as it relates to the State of Mississippi’s flag.

Several years ago, our universities recognized that the Mississippi state flag in its current form is divisive and chose to lower the flag on our campuses. Today, we are committed to continuing to do our part to ensure Mississippi is united in its pursuit of a future that is free of racism and discrimination. Such a future must include a new state flag.

In keeping the current state flag, Mississippi will potentially forego the millions of dollars in economic impact that NCAA postseason events bring to our state. This is unfortunate. Our student-athletes and coaches, who devote so much of their time, talent, hard work and dedication to their sports and our universities, will potentially be negatively impacted through no action of their own. This is more than unfortunate.

We are looking forward to a time when our state flag represents the full and rich diversity of Mississippi, a diversity that is reflected in our student-athletes, our student bodies, and the friends and fans of our athletics teams. We look forward to a time when Mississippi’s state flag unites Mississippians, rather than divides us.

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