Support city leaders with flag decision; urge another statewide vote

Published 2:57 pm Thursday, August 20, 2015

The mayor and Board of Alderman of Oxford voted on Tuesday night to immediately remove Mississippi’s state flag and the Magnolia Flag from all city buildings in Oxford that display the flags.

The Board of Alderman even went further than removing the flag. They voted unanimously to sign a resolution to be sent to the Mississippi Legislature asking that the state flag be changed.

The EAGLE agrees with the decision and the vote that the Board took Tuesday night to take the flag down. Oxford is viewed as a progressive community in this state and we should be proactive in decisions that affect residents. Symbols of our past that bring negative connotations to our city and state need to be removed.

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As Mayor Pat Patterson said, “I believe we should have a flag that everyone can be proud of. Not a flag that causes so much controversy and seems to be hurtful to so many.”

Oxford joins a growing list of Mississippi cities in the decision to remove the flag. The capital city of Jackson removed the flag from City Hall many years ago. The recent debate over the symbolism is an issue that is true to the heart of so many Southerners on either side of the belief spectrum.

As of this morning, 95,753 people have seen the breaking news post on The Oxford EAGLE Facebook page after the Board of Alderman voted unanimously to remove the flags. At least 617 people hit the like button and 1,465 people commented on the post. This is an issue that will continue to be debated until either the residents of this state are allowed to vote again on the flag or it is replaced. The EAGLE would like to see the issue go to a vote again so legislators and city and state leaders can see the true pulse of Mississippians on the issue.

In the L-O-U community, residents are used to controversy surrounding racial incidents dating back to the James Meredith integration at University of Mississippi. So many symbols, such as the song Dixie, Colonel Reb, and Confederate flags have been removed from all Ole Miss sporting events to rid our athletic programs of negative press.

Many people feel that the flag represents oppression to so many people in the South. To others, it represents what so many people died fighting for in the Civil War.

Just this past Sunday a full-page ad in support of removing the state flag was published in the “Clarion Ledger.” Many prominent residents of our state, including many from Lafayette County, signed this ad.

Thanks again to our city leaders for taking a controversial stance and doing what is right for our community.

(“Our View” is an unsigned editorial representing the general opinion of The Oxford EAGLE editorial board, which includes Publisher Tim Phillips, Editor Stephanie Rebman, Managing Editor Rob Sigler, City Editor Alyssa Schnugg and photographer Bruce Newman.)