Mississippi House did right thing

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We’re glad the Mississippi House has rejected an effort to punish state universities like Ole Miss for not flying the state flag.

None of Mississippi’s eight public universities fly the state flag because of the Confederate battle emblem that adorns it — a symbol that opponents of the flag say is a reminder of slavery and segregation.

It has been a touchy subject since the state universities, including Ole Miss, decided to furl the flag.

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Proponents of Mississippi’s state flag argue that it is heritage not hate. Yet there is no denying that hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan have waved and embraced the flag over the years and there is no denying that for many the flag is a symbol that causes discomfort and tension.

We wish Mississippi had a flag that represented everyone, one that our universities could fly proudly. We also believe that day will come, eventually.

But in the meantime our public universities should not be punished for furling the flag so that they can recruit minority students effectively and make a statement that the Confederate battle emblem no longer has a place on our campuses.

The Mississippi House did the right thing rejecting the effort to punish universities that refuse to fly the flag.