The Republican-controlled Mississippi State Legislature is poised to have a “sneak” vote intended to replace the state’s flag, which contains Confederate insignia, according to Republican State Senator Chris McDaniel.
The push to replace the flag follows a nationwide onslaught of desecration of confederate monuments in response to George Floyd’s death reinvigorating the Black Lives Matter movement.
The potential vote, which McDaniel alerted his 250,000-audience to via a Facebook live stream, may provide further evidence of how this mindset has infiltrated government – even reaching a Republican-controlled body.
State Rep. Chris Bell (D-Miss.) appeared on MSNBC on Friday to demand the Mississippi governor allow local politicians, not the public, to decide.
The Mississippi state flag which features the Confederate battle flag appears to be the latest target of history-erasers and political correctness enforcers. The overwhelming majority – over 64 percent – of residents voted to keep the 1894 flag in a 2001 referendum:
Precedent demonstrates that for the state’s flag to be altered, it ought to be left to citizens to decide. Certainly not government.
Despite this, McDaniels warns:
“Monday or Tuesday expect a vote on the flag at your state capital.”
The 12-year State Senate veteran emphasizes that Mississippi residents and voters “may not be aware of” the current push to replace the flag since “it’s happening behind closed doors.”
The House side is “calling for a new flag. […] What they’re proposing is to place on the ballot the choice of two flags, neither of which is the present flag,” while the Senate’s “plan is to have two flags.” McDaniels clarifies that “both of which will eventually lead to a new flag.”
The Senate plan would “keep those two flags flying and then hold a referendum later about two years from now. In the meantime, what they’re thinking about doing is bringing down the present flag from all the buildings and all the structures and putting something else in its place, perhaps an In God We Trust or something like that to try to pacify conservatives.”
McDaniel’s live stream follows calls from entities such as Mississippi public universities, the Southeastern Sports Conference Commissioner, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Board of Governors to change the flag, noting “they will keep postseason athletic events from being hosted in the state” until then.
On principle, he opposes the decision since “this really isn’t about the fight for a flag at all. It’s about a fight against a philosophy that seeks to erase our history, that seeks to delegitimize the American experience, our institutions, and our traditions.”
And procedurally, McDaniels takes issue with the sneak vote: “if the people decide they want a new flag, let’s give them a new flag, but only after a referendum.”
Given Republicans’ willingness to place something sacrosanct as the state’s nearly 130-year-old flag on the chopping block, McDaniels implores individuals to share his video and not allow this clear affront to American history to materialize.