SEC said it would consider withdrawing championship events if Mississippi does not change its flag

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Mississippi is the only southern state that has yet to remove the Confederate flag from being prominently displayed on its state flag. The campaign to remove it has been going on for decades but has attracted attention, as more and more Confederate monuments, monuments and statues in the United States have been demolished.

“It is high time to change the flag of the state of Mississippi,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. statement posted on Twitter. “Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone. “

Sankey went on to say that if the Mississippi refused to change the flag this time, they would consider banning state championship events until that was the case.

CNN contacted Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves to comment on the SEC decision. In the past, Governor Reeves has not taken sides on the issue, saying that residents of Mississippi should vote on the flag change.

“I think some people will want to change the flag, but it should be done by a popular vote,” Governor Reeves said at a press conference on June 10, reiterating his long standing position. “Not by a vote of politicians making a deal behind the scenes in Jackson. “Reacting to Sankey’s statement, Ole Miss and Mississippi State reiterated their support for the change of state flag since 2015.

“Mississippi needs a flag that represents the qualities of our state that unite us, not those that divide us yet,” said Oith Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce and Intercollegiate Athletics Vice Chancellor Keith Carter in a joint statement. . “We support the SEC’s position to change the flag of the state of Mississippi to a more welcoming and inclusive image for all. ”

Opponents of the change of flag often cite a vote 19 years ago, in which a 2 to 1 majority of Mississippi voters wanted to keep the flag.

Since 2019, Mississippi has been selling specialty license plates with a reinvented state flag without Confederate imagery. This flag was created in 2014 by native Mississippian Laurin Stennis.

Georgia was the last state to remove the Confederate Battle emblem from its state flag. It took Georgia two years to finally decide on a new flag after a successful legislative vote to change it in 2001.



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