Congressman Thompson applauds Speaker Gunn's stand on the flag - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

  • WLBT Online Poll

  • Should the Confederate symbol be removed from Mississippi's state flag?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Yes
    34%
    1961 votes
    No
    60%
    3503 votes
    I don't care
    6%
    349 votes

Congressman Thompson applauds Speaker Gunn's stand on the flag

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Some Mississippi leaders are calling to remove and change the state's controversial flag. But others aren't so sure. 

"We must always remember our past, but that does not mean we must let it define us," said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. "As a Christian, I believe our state's flag has become a point of offense that needs to be removed. We need to begin having conversations about changing Mississippi's flag."

Congressman Bennie Thompson applauded Speaker Gunn's stand on the flag.

"I was heartened by the words of Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn who stepped out against what had become conventional wisdom in his party and recognized the offensive nature of the confederate battle flag and urged that it be removed," said Thompson. "I support his efforts and urge other Mississippi legislators and elected officials to follow his lead."

“Mississippi is the sole state with an actual depiction of the confederate battle flag in its state flag," Thompson added. "This flag is not just some piece of cloth that bears no importance; it is the physical manifestation of a time of hate, oppression and slavery that split this country at its seams. It also serves as a barrier around the entire State of Mississippi telling everyone else in this country that progress is not welcomed here."

Thousands of folks are signing a MoveOn.org petition to get rid of it. Mississippians had the chance to do so in 2001. But it was nearly a 2-1 margin to keep the existing flag.

Mississippi's flag is a polarizing topic.

Jake McGraw, editor of ReThink Mississippi and public policy coordinator at the William Winter Institute views the flag as a roadblock for showing the rest of the country how the state has changed.

"There are many things I love about Mississippi," said ReThink Mississippi editor Jake McGraw. "None of them are represented by that flag."

Marc Allen, 4th Brigade Commander for the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, said it would be an insult to his ancestors to change it.

"Why it should stick around is doing what is right,” Allen explained. “Standing up for your beliefs. Standing up for what is true and correct."

Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves issued a statement Tuesday on Mississippi's State Flag:

“What happened in Charleston is simply pure irrational evil. There is no other description for this monster's actions. He is an individual that has allowed his mind and soul to be horribly twisted and disfigured by irrational hate. No symbol or flag or website or book or movie made him evil - he was evil on his own.

Flags and emblems are chosen by a group of people as a symbol of all that unites and ties the group together. The good and bad in our shared history, and all that we have learned from it, is something that ties us together.

The same discussion South Carolinians are having now is one that Mississippians had 14 years ago when nearly two-thirds of our state voted to keep our current flag. 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, not by outsiders or media elites or politicians in a back room.”

Senator Chris McDaniel also released a statement after calls to remove and change the flag:

"The price we pay to live in a free society is to occasionally be offended. A cultural or historical cleansing of all things potentially offensive will do nothing to alleviate the problems caused by racism. To pretend otherwise is a disservice to serious discourse on the subject.

We must examine our hearts and not resort to placing emotional blame for problems we face on symbols such as a flag.

"I love all Mississippians, regardless of race or political affiliation. We are a family. But I disagree with those who use political correctness to silence differing viewpoints. I likewise believe it is in poor taste to use the tragic South Carolina massacre to promote a political agenda.

I understand, very well, both sides of the debate. Slavery is our nation's original sin, and government sanctioned discrimination is evil. As a strong proponent of individual rights, I will always defend individuals against the abuses of government and fight for liberty by insisting government's reach remain limited.

However, at the end of the day, political correctness is about power; consequently, its practitioners will never be appeased. They won't stop until dissent is crushed and tolerance of opposing viewpoints is no longer accepted.

I will not be a part of such an agenda.

The people of Mississippi have already decided this issue, by referendum. I will respect their wishes."

An online petition to remove the Confederate battle flag from Mississippi's flag--now has more than 10 thousand signatures.

Copyright 2015 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly