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Legislative Black Caucus pushing for vote on state flag
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Members of Legislative Black Caucus at capitol calling for flag vote
Desare C. Frazier

Mississippi’s Legislative Black Caucus is pressing lawmakers to hold a vote on removing the state flag with the confederate emblem before the session ends.

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Members of the Legislative Black Caucus gathered outside the state capitol saying talks are underway among lawmakers to bring the issue of taking down the state flag to a vote. House Democrat Robert Johnson of Natchez.

“They’re having open discussions with people around the state with elected officials in Washington and here and members of this legislature who are standing with us today and so that is happening. It’s not being talked about but we’re telling you it’s happening and we’re going to have a chance to vote on something before we leave here,” said Johnson.

Johnson says they are receiving many emails in support of removing the flag. House Democrat Edward Blackmon of Canton says the state flag represents Mississippi’s slavery and Jim Crow past and has been used to oppress Black people.

Mississippi state flag is held by a participant during a drive-by "re-open Mississippi" protest April 2020

“Great evil has been committed against our community because of that flag. The Ku Klux Klan adopted it as it’s flag too. Yet still we’re here today saying this flag needs to go. We shouldn’t have to say that any more,” said Blackmon.

House Republican Bubba Carpenter of Burnsville in Tishomingo County says his constituents want to vote on the issue.

“If the current flag is defeated on the ballot, my folks will accept it and let’s move on down the road, but overwhelmingly my folks want to vote,” said Carpenter.

House Republican Tim Ladner of Poplarville says he’s hearing the same thing in his district.

“I stand with the folks in my district. They want to see it on the ballot so I think the only way it should be changed is to be put on the ballot and let the people decide,” said Ladner.

The Legislative Black Caucus says, Mississippi must have a flag that represents all people in the state. They say if the issue is voted down this session, they’ll try again in January.