Mississippi Leaders Weigh In on the House Speaker's Call to Change the Flag
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Governor Phil Bryant says Mississippians voted to keep the state flag with the confederate emblem in 2001 and he supports that.

"I don't think that we need to go about trying supersede the will of the people. The discussion was certainly not deaf tone to, but their vote was taken. It was on the ballot and I think across the state of Mississippi, a fairly strong vote to keep it." said Bryant.

State Representative Alyce Clarke says over the years other bills have been introduced to change the flag, but they languished in committees. She's elated that Gunn supports changing the flag, but regrets it took a tragedy to do it.

"I hate it took the death of those nine individuals in the Carolinas, to bring us all together but as somebody said, it's better late than never." said Clarke.

"Sometimes it takes pretty horrific things to jolt us."

That's Kenneth Townsend. He teaches political science at Millsaps College in Jackson. He believes Mississippians are slowly moving towards changing the flag, in part because of their faith.

"People who have valued the flag in the past, who have said, look I'm not sure it's the Christian thing because even though it's something I have kinda liked and appreciated. I see that it causes pain for other people," said Townsend.

Townsend added it will mean an economic boost for the state because some businesses along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association will not hold events in Mississippi because of the flag.

In a statement Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves said:"if the citizens of our state want to revisit that decision and I am sure at some point we may, it will best be decided by the people of Mississippi."