Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn said Monday night that the Confederate emblem in the state’s official flag has to go.

“We must always remember our past, but that does not mean we must let it define us,” Gunn, a Clinton Republican, said in a statement. “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.”

It’s the first time a Mississippi Republican elected official has publicly called for the removal of the emblem that served as the battle flag flown by the Confederate army during the Civil War. Later, it was adopted by anti-Civil Rights groups.

Gov. Phil Bryant said Monday morning that he didn’t expect the Legislature to “supersede the will of the people on this issue.”

He was referring to the 2001 ballot measure in which 64 percent of those who voted made the flag with the Confederate emblem the state’s official banner. Bryant spokeswoman Nicole Webb said the governor voted with the majority.

A spokeswoman for Bryant said Monday night he was traveling and unavailable for comment on Gunn’s position. A spokesperson for Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves had not responded to questions sent Monday morning, and again Monday night.

The debate whether to remove the Confederate battle flag from South Carolina’s state capitol, touched off by last week’s Charleston church shooting, arrived in Mississippi over the weekend.

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3 thoughts on “Speaker Gunn says it’s time for the state flag to go. 

  1. Very disappointing to see coming from someone who poses to be a leader. Speaker Gunn is demonstrating his penchant for personal aggrandizement. He has no regard for the vote of the people of state. If the flag is replaced then next he will be in favor of removing statues of Confederate heroes that ‘might’ offend someone. Of course why stop with that? We’ll need to rename any counties that have ‘objectionable’ names such as Jefferson Davis and Forrest. There is no end to the madness when politicians begin to pander.

  2. Actually, I don’t think we have to GIVE UP anything. What we need to do is to RECLAIM our first state flag, the magnolia flag! I have thought so since I was a child, even when I was a faithful and active member of the Children of the Confederacy (and a national officer).

  3. PLEASE, I ask all to read my article from 2012 about our STATE FLAG. It was created with HATRED and TREASON in mind by RICH WHITE GUYS in Jackson who wanted to ensure SEGREGATION through JIM CROW LAWS would remain in the Deep South. THE Constitution of 1890 depicts that same PRO-SLAVERY attitude by its ARTICLE 12 which led to disfranchisement of 90% of Blacks, or more; and, about 40,000 white voters due to Literacy, Character Clauses, and POLL TAXES. The constitution WAS NEVER SENT TO THE PEOPLE, for ratification and ONLY ONE BLACK REP WAS PRESENT.

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