A bill filed by Rep. Greg Snowden, speaker pro tem of the House and chief lieutenant of Speaker Philip Gunn, would add a second state flag with “equal status and dignity in representing the state of Mississippi.”
The bill gives specific instructions for the new flag, including a star in the canton and a “Magnolia grandiflora with white flowers” in the center. That is the description of the Magnolia Flag that some in South Mississippi prefer over the current one, according to Sun Herald reporter Paul Hampton
Snowden’s bill says “each design may be flown individually as the official flag or they may be flown together.”
There’s just one problem. If the point of the exercise is to give Mississippians a second option deemed to be “non-divisive” then Snowden probably couldn’t have chosen a more ill-suited design.
The ‘Magnolia Flag’ that Snowden’s bill elevates, and Hampton believes South Mississippians prefer, is the flag adopted by Mississippi after voting to secede from the United States and join the Confederacy.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has been attempted nor pointed out. But it goes to show the lack of preparation by elected officials before proposing legislation for consideration to become law. It’s a good example of why Rep. Hank Zuber’s proposal to change the legislative session schedule to every two-years could be the most meaningful reform to Mississippi government in decades.
In 2017, Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes, Chairman of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, introduced a bill to change the state flag to the ‘Magnolia Flag.’
Describing what she wanted in a new state flag she said,”What we’re really wanting is a flag that charts a different future for our state, that charts a different future for our children and that is about a vision that unites people in the state with each other as well as unites Mississippi with other states in the nation.”
Unbeknownst to Rep. Williams-Barnes at the time was that the flag she herself proposed was more an official state emblem of divisision than any she could have chosen.
If these history-challenged politicians are going to continue with the repetitive claptrap, is it too much to ask that they gather some basic facts first?