Symbols are, in essence, how we communicate to each other. Letters are symbols that make up words that make up sentences. Logos are symbols that help us locate a product we want to buy, a restaurant where we want to eat, or a business we want to use. Symbols in art and literature and music provide a deeper meaning than the image, literal surface, or lyrics.

Mississippi’s state flag, created in 1894, is a symbol. It communicates a message. However, to many, that message is hurtful and represents terror becuase part of the imagery was misused by evil men.

Gov. Tate Reeves says he believes the people of Mississippi should decide the fate of the flag, not politicians in Jackson. When you’re seeking consensus, healing and a clear mandate from the people, there is wisdom in Reeves’ position. 

Calls for unity come from the same elites or cultural Marxists who are for pulling down every historic statue. They have to erase things in order to rebuild them in their Marxist image and so we are naturally suspicious of what’s next.

Seeking consensus, healing and a clear mandate from the people is what a Republican Legislature can do by encouraging talking sessions where we can be encouraged to get to know people who are not like us and where there is not only talk about the flag but of other issues that are causing the anguish.

Sixty years of failed liberal policies have kept black Americans on the plantation of dependency and no flag vote is going to change that culture of victimhood Johnson’s Great Society created that is so ingrained and destructive. Every American deserves a chance at a better education, a better job, safety, security and freedom.

Yet, liberals are not for school choice that would let a poor black kid go to a better school. Liberals want to de-fund the police because by retiring to their gated mansions with security they’re not impacted by the rioting and looting. 

Without a statewide vote on the flag, whether through initiative and referendum or through the Legislature putting the flag vote on the ballot, there will never be clarity on the will of the people. There will never be the opportunity for Mississippi to proudly say “the people have chosen” to repudiate the old and bring in new hope because we have a new and genuine understanding of our humanity and love for our neighbors.

But that would take time and some people are ready for change now — and we’re sympathetic to that position.

The 2001 Legislature should not have put the flag issue to a vote. That Democrat-controlled Legislature under Democrat Gov. Ronnie Musgrove should have acted then to change the flag, but they did not.

Do we compound that failure in Democrat leadership by continuing down the divisive path that decision created by having another vote? 

Or do we act now even though there will always be soreheads who claim the will of the people was rejected by politicians even with a representative form of government? 

Or do we begin listening to one another and find genuine consensus in this awful year that’s driven our country to its knees?

We live in an instant gratification society where everybody is a publisher and many people are angrily demanding change yesterday or they will burn down your town.

There are unjust things that need to be remedied and the sin of racism is real.

We believe a flag change is the right change. Should we delay the change to make the change correctly or should we let this opportunity slide past and miss a moment for healing and reconciliation at maybe one of our lowest points as a nation? 

Those are tough questions for our leaders to debate. No answer is perfect. The only wrong answer is to do nothing and simmer in anger, resentment and the sins of our past. We are all united as one in the human race, the sons and daughters of Adam and children of God.

Another pressing question is what should the new flag look like? Many embrace the “Stennis Flag” designed by Laurin Stennis, the granddaughter of the late U.S. Senator John C. Stennis. And even then the liberals are yelling “white privilege.” So there is no way to win with them, even if you’re embracing the Stennis flag. Others look to history at the “Magnolia Flag” or elements of past flags.

The easy decision is to remove the Confederate emblem — the Southern Cross beloved and respected by many — from the flag’s cannon and replace it with something — almost anything else, a star, the state seal, a Magnolia tree or bloom, a Mockingbird, a river, the shape of Mississippi, or just a green square.  

The 1894 flag belongs in a museum in a place of honor. It does not belong in our courtrooms or on police uniforms. It’s time for the people — with the encouragement of our leaders to find consensus, healing, and offer a clear mandate— to put the past in the past. Let the people decide for themselves whether to change the state flag, but, yes, we should.