Tuesday, October 27, 2015

University of Mississippi removes state flag that includes Confederate flag symbol

A student-led protest led the University of Mississippi on Monday to quietly take down the state flag—which includes the Confederate flag in one corner—from campus, reports University of Mississippi News. "The flag will be preserved in the University Archives along with resolutions from students, faculty and staff calling for its removal."

"On Oct. 20, the student senate voted 33-15-1 to request that the university remove the flag," reports University of Mississippi News. Interim Chancellor Morris Stocks, who in June joined state and university officials in calling for a change in the state flag, told the News, “The University of Mississippi community came to the realization years ago that the Confederate battle flag did not represent many of our core values, such as civility and respect for others. Since that time, we have become a stronger and better university. We join other leaders in our state who are calling for a change in the state flag.”

For years Jackson State University, Alcorn State University and Mississippi Valley State University, "all historically black universities, have long not flown the flag," Royce Swayze reports for The Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Miss.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who has said it is unlikely the state flag will change, said in a statement "that publicly funded institutions should respect Mississippi law since it grants the state flag 'all the respect and ceremonious etiquette given the American flag,'" Swayze writes. "According to Section 37-13-13 of Mississippi law, the flag 'shall be displayed in close proximity to the school building at all times during the hours of daylight when the school is in session when the weather will permit without damage to the flag . . . It shall be the duty of the board of trustees of the school district to provide for the flags and their display.” But the law does not reference institutions of higher learning.

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