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University Students Discuss Possibility of Removing State Flag from Campus

Screenshot of flyer by UM NAACP (2015)
Screenshot of flyer by UM NAACP (2015)

Last week, the University of Mississippi chapters of NAACP and College Democrats Spoke out against the presence of the Mississippi state flag on the university campus. In reaction, a student then attempted to begin a petition in favor of keeping the state flag on campus. Today, the Black Student Union have joined NAACP and College Democrats.

The UM’s NAACP announced that there will be a rally calling to take down the state flag on Oct. 16. Meanwhile, UM’s NAACP and College Democrats are working on a resolution recommending the removal of the state flag for the Associated Student Body Senate to vote on.

Today, the Black Student Union posted on its Facebook page its stance on the state flag’s presence on the university campus. Here is a part of the statement:

“We believe that the removal of confederate symbols from this institution will be the best evidence such a commitment. We ask that the Associated Student Body stand with us in support of this belief as have the NAACP and the College Democrats.”

The statement in its entirety can be read at University of Mississipi Black Student Union.

The NAACP chapter released a statement on Sept. 30 concerning the state flag: “We the University of Mississippi NAACP can no longer tolerate the use of Confederate iconography within context of our shared academic space. We strive for inclusion of all people and believe that our state flag should represent the heritage of all of its inhabitants. Our state flag should inspire future generations to prosper in the state of Mississippi with no symbolic barriers impeding upon individual growth and one’s understanding of belonging. It is imperative that the Associated Student Body stand in solidarity with not only other student governments across the state, but also with our city’s aldermen. All of whom have decided that the state flag has no place on public property.”

Its full statement can be viewed on its Facebook page: The NAACP at The University of Mississippi.

The University of Mississippi College Democrats (Ole Miss Democrats) president Allen Coon, also a Senator in the ASB, released a statement also on the state flag.

He said in statement, “The presence of the Mississippi state flag on the campus of the University of Mississippi divides our student body, undermines efforts to promote inclusion and violates the UM Creed, which calls for us all to respect the dignity of each person. The University of Mississippi College Democrats calls on the Associated Student Body to take a stand against the state flag, and take appropriate measures to remove the state flag from our campus.”

The rest of the statement can be viewed on its Facebook page: Ole Miss Democrats.

A University of Mississippi student named Andrew Soper, who is a senator on the ASB, had a petition (now closed) on Change.org in favor of keeping the state flag on campus. On the petition he wrote:

“The University of Mississippi NAACP chapter and College Democrats are working together to remove the flag of the state of Mississippi from The university of Mississippi campus. In order to live in a free society, the possibility to be offended will occasionally occur. Removing symbols, flags, and monuments will do nothing to change the way people feel in their hearts. The pledge to the state flag encourages Mississippians to “salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which is stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence in her future under the guidance of Almighty God”. Ole Miss Students and my fellow Mississippians, rise up and push back on political correctness and support the state flag.”

The petition collected 207 signatures, 293 signatures away from 500. It will not likely reach that goal since it is now closed. The petition’s headline is also misleading since the Associated Student Body senate has not announced any decisions or stances regarding the state flag on campus.

For the University of Mississippi’s NAACP and College Democrats chapters to have their resolution passed, the ASB committee need to vote on it before the ASB Senate can debate and vote on it.

Callie Daniels Bryant is the senior managing editor at HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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