Should the Mississippi flag be changed?

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Mississippi is a state that can be identified by it’s friendly people, great food, Jazz music and it’s beautiful rural landscape. These qualities are often overshadowed however for its racist culture. The state has long been recognized as the most racist state in the country and oftentimes, there are occurrences that prove this to still be true. While the days of blatant racism in Mississippi have mostly come to an end, there are still signs that point to a culture that is hesitant to move on from its dark past into a better future. One of these signs is the Mississippi state flag. The flag that hangs proudly from many Mississippian’s homes is rooted in hate and evil.
Those who oppose the change of the state flag often refer the term “Heritage not hate” as their slogan. They argue that the flag has nothing to do with racism and instead is honoring the tradition of Mississippi. The way they see it, the Confederate flag, which is incorporated with the Mississippi state flag, no longer represents slavery and oppression. It has somehow moved on and transcended into something we should all be able to look at with pride. This is not only inconsiderate, but extremely absurd.
Mississippi officials fail to understand the power that an icon or a symbol can have. How can you possibly preach equality and justice with that flag hanging up? The hypocrisy of it has been recognized by all other states except Mississippi. Southern states who had the confederate flag incorporated in their flag have long since changed it. Even several individual towns and  cities in Mississippi have taken the flag off of official buildings. The state is dropping the ball and proving the critics who buy into the stereotypes of Mississippi right.
In Germany, it is punishable by law to fly a Nazi flag. Just as they understand the death and despair that came with that flag, Mississippi needs to do the same. To go to the lengths to arrest people for waving a Confederate or Mississippi flag is another story, but at least it shows progression by not officially recognizing it as the state flag. Mississippi is a beautiful state and needs a flag that represents its bright future, not its shadowy past.

Tyrel Hunt is a Graduating Senior Broadcast/ Mass Communications major from New York, New York. He will be a contributing writer for The Campus Chronicle for the 2016-2017 school year.

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