Notable Mississippians Join Chorus to Change State Flag

Notable Mississippians Join Chorus to Change State Flag

The American flag and Mississippi state flag fly at half staff outside the Forrest County Courthouse in Hattiesburg, Miss., Monday, May 11, 2015, in honor of Hattiesburg police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate, who were shot to death Saturday night. Four people have been arrested and charged in their deaths and are to make their initial court appearance on Monday afternoon. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
 (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Jerry Mitchell, THE CLARION-LEDGER

 
JACKSON, Miss. (The Clarion-Ledger) — In a letter appearing in a full-page ad in today’s Clarion-Ledger, author John Grisham, actor Morgan Freeman, legendary quarterback Archie Manning, “The Help” author Kathryn Stockett and others are calling for removal of the Confederate emblem from Mississippi’s state flag.

With other states removing their Confederate battle flags, Mississippi remains the last with the Confederate emblem flying over the statehouse.

“It is simply not fair, or honorable, to ask black Mississippians to attend schools, compete in athletic events, work in the public sector, serve in the National Guard, and go about their normal lives with a state flag that glorifies a war fought to keep their ancestors enslaved,” the letter says. “It’s time for Mississippi to fly a flag for all its people.”

Former Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale and Mississippi business leader Jack Reed Sr. signed the letter. So did music legend Jimmy Buffett, former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Reuben Anderson, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford, Grammy-winning producer Glen Ballard, Basketball Hall of Famer Bailey Howell, former Gov. William Winter, baseball legend Boo Ferriss and a host of others.

The letter is the latest in a growing wave, from House Speaker Philip Gunn to Mississippi’s SEC football coaches to the great-great-grandson of Confederate President Jefferson Davis — all saying the Confederate battle flag belongs in a museum.

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