BY: Sam Hall
Let me be clear: those supporting a change in the state flag are not the only brave ones. No, those who have come out in favor of keeping the state flag and made a clearly reasonable argument why are just as brave. I personally disagree with the positions of Sens. Chris McDaniel and Melanie Sojourner, but they stood up and said they didn’t support changing the flag. They weren’t ambiguous, and they didn’t pass the buck. That takes political courage.
It’s the ones who have passed the buck to “the people,” who have said a lot without saying anything, or who have refused to say anything who have not the courage of a conviction or — in the case of those who refuse to speak — a conviction of which to have courage.
Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and more than a few lawmakers chose “the people have spoken” route. Indeed, people spoke 14 years ago and chose our current flag. Of course, only 30 percent of voters went to the polls, meaning only 20 percent of registered voters actually chose the current flag. A 14-year-old vote where only 20 percent of registered voters supported something isn’t exactly a good barometer for decisions to be made today.
For his part, Bryant opened the door to legislative action on the flag, though he would not answer whether he supported changing the flag or if he would sign a bill that did so.
Reeves did no such thing. He said the people may want to revisit again, and he gave us his blessing for such. But by god, this issue won’t be decided by “outsiders or media elites or politicians in a back room.” Nice political pivot by the lieutenant governor. Instead of actually saying what he would do, he throws jabs as others.