Legislature motives are troubling

Published 9:19 am Thursday, March 9, 2017

The bill provision requiring Mississippi’s public universities to fly the state’s controversial flag or lose proposed tax breaks isn’t expected to stick.

But the fact that some members of the Mississippi Legislature can’t let go trying to force Mississippi’s public universities to the state flag with its Confederate emblem is troubling.

The state’s public universities, all eight of them, have made a clear statement: Mississippi’s flag with its Confederate battle emblem sends the wrong message for institutions of higher education and they don’t want to associate with it.

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It has been well established by now across this state and across the country that the Confederate battle emblem has an important place in history, but it does not represent all people.

Mississippi’s flag is dated and in need of change.

Proponents who argue that it is important history and needs no change should only look at the growth of Ole Miss since the university distanced itself from the Confederate battle flag decades ago.

In the time since, Ole Miss has become a world-class public institution able to recruit top minority students and top students from the state and region from all demographics.

The fact that some in Mississippi’s Legislature can’t focus on solutions rather than obsessing over our universities and the flag is troubling.