POLITICS

Mississippi Attorney General Supports Changing State's Confederate-Themed Flag

Lynn Fitch, a Republican, joined calls to change the flag, which features a Confederate battle emblem.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, a Republican, on Wednesday called for the state to change its flag, which has a Confederate symbol on it. 

“It is time for us to change the state flag to reflect the love, compassion and conviction of our people,” Fitch, who is white, said in a statement, noting she’s lived and raised her kids in the state. “We must always remember our past — honor the good and learn from the bad.”

Fitch didn’t specifically mention the flag’s Confederate symbol. Her office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for clarification. 

Anti-racism protests have intensified years of demands led by Black activists for Mississippi to drop the Confederate symbol from the state flag. As the Black Lives Movement has gained strength in wake of the police killing of George Floyd, demonstrators have toppled statues and monuments to racists in cities across the country. Those have included statues of Confederate leaders — such as a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Virginia, the former capital of the Confederacy.  

In Mississippi, Walmart announced Tuesday that it would no longer display the state flag in its stores. Mississippi State University running back Kylin Hill, who is Black, said that if the flag doesn’t change, he will no longer play representing his home state. The university’s student association also called for the flag to change, saying in a statement that it carries a “symbol of oppression.”

It’s unclear if the Republican-majority state legislature will make the change. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) on Monday said he rejected a proposal to make a second, separate state flag, dubbing such an effort “separate but equal,” and saying it would “actually divide our state more.” 

In April, the governor, who is white, declared Confederate Heritage month, as previous governors had done.

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