Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann has remained mum on the state flag situation until today.
The Senate chamber leader released a statement this morning, saying that he is “open” to changing the flag, and the legislature will address the controversial topic today.
Here is Hosemann’s full statement:
“I rise before you today to discuss the flag of our State.
This discussion is not prompted by fear of loss of economic development, although virtually every economic developer in our State has indicated opportunities and employment of our citizens will be adversely affected. Further, it is not prompted by the impending loss of student athletes’ ability to compete for championships, although that has occurred. Further, I recognize many of our citizens are proud of their individual ancestors, some of whom fought in battle 150 years ago. I am one of those citizens.
While important, these issues are not controlling.
What is compelling to me is the future of our children and grandchildren. They will learn together, they will work together, and they will worship together. Those who wish to fly our flag should not be typecast in any fashion. Similarly, those who are offended by our flag are sincere in their beliefs. The physical acknowledgements of our history are our guideposts and buoys which helps us to avoid reefs in the future. Destruction of history fails to change it and, over time, opens us to repeat it.
However, now we must look to a flag for our collective future to be flown over our collective assets. I, like the majority of Mississippians, am open to changing our current flag.
In my mind, our flag should bear the Seal of the Great State of Mississippi and state “In God We Trust.” I am open to bringing all citizens together to determine a banner for our future.
Some distrust the will of the citizens and fear the public dialogue which comes with a ballot. I am not one of those people. Changes in our hearts and minds arise from conversation, and in our Republic by the finality of the ballot box.
However, the Legislature in 1894 selected the current flag and the Legislature should address it today. Failing to do so only harms us and postpones the inevitable.”
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have already gavelled in for the day as legislators still aim to leave Jackson by Friday.