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Oxford Mayor Tannehill: ‘Confederate Statue Should be Moved, Flag Changed’

By Alyssa Schnugg
News editor

The United States Flag is the only flag that flies over Oxford City Hall.

Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill released a statement Friday in regard to her stance on the Confederate statue on the Square and the state flag.

Tannehill said with recent events, she has received calls, emails and messages on her social media accounts asking about the removal and/or relocation of the statue and her opinion on whether the state should change its flag.

Tannehill said the statue is not on city property, but rather it is the property of Lafayette County, as is the Courthouse where the statue currently stands on the south side of the courthouse.

“As the mayor of Oxford, I have no authority over county property – nor does the Oxford Board of Aldermen,” she said.

The city did vote, in 2015, to adopt a resolution asking the governor and Legislature to take action to remove the current state flag and replace it with a new flag that “represents the great spirit of our State and garners the respect of all of Mississippi’s citizens.”

The city has not flown the current Mississippi state flag on city property since 2015 when Pat Patterson was mayor and Tannehill was an alderman.

“It has long been my view that the statue needs to be moved to a more appropriate place,” Tannehill said Friday. “Just like the current Mississippi state flag does not represent our diverse state or our desire to make every resident and visitor feel welcome, the Confederate statue does not represent our diverse community and certainly does not make every resident or visitor feel welcome. I echo (University of Mississippi) Chancellor Glenn Boyce’s sentiment that we should not allow our past to prevent the cultivation of a better present and future.”

On May 31, Boyce issued a statement in support of removing the Confederate statue that is located on the University’s campus. A proposal has been submitted to the Institutions of Higher Learning to move the statue to the Confederate Cemetery that is also located on campus.

“This is a time for change. For me, that means moving the monument away from the center of our campus,” Boyce said in his statement.

Three petitions have been started on Change.org calling for the removal or relocation of both statues, garnering about 10,000 signature between three petitions.

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