No­table Mis­sis­sip­pi­ans join cho­rus to change the state flag

The China Post - - ARTS -

Jimmy Buf­fet, John Gr­isham and Mor­gan Free­man are among many fa­mous cur­rent and for­mer Mis­sis­sippi res­i­dents ask­ing the gov­ern­ment of the south­east­ern U. S. state to re­move the rebel Con­fed­er­ate bat­tle em­blem from its flag.

The famed mu­si­cian, au­thor and ac­tor joined oth­ers in sign­ing a let­ter that ap­peared in a full- page ad in Satur­day’s edi- tion of The Clar­ion- Ledger.

“It is sim­ply not fair, or hon­or­able, to ask black Mis­sis­sip­pi­ans to at­tend schools, com­pete in ath­letic events, work in the public sec­tor, serve in the Na­tional Guard, and go about their nor­mal lives with a state flag that glo­ri­fies a war fought to keep their an­ces­tors en­slaved,” the news­pa­per quoted the let­ter as say­ing. “It’s time for Mis­sis­sippi to fly a flag for all its peo­ple.”

Oth­ers who signed the let­ter in­clude Kathryn Stock­ett, au­thor of “The Help,” a novel about African- Amer­i­can maids work­ing in white house­holds in Jack­son, Mis­sis­sippi.

State gov­ern­ments and busi­nesses around the U. S. have re­moved Con­fed­er­ate sym­bols since Dy­lann Roof was ac­cused in June of killing nine black church mem­bers in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof ap­peared in photos with the Con­fed­er­ate flag. Fol­low­ing a con­tentious and emo­tional de­bate, law­mak­ers in South Carolina agreed to re­move the Con­fed­er­ate bat­tle flag from the grounds of the State­house. It was taken down last month.

A num­ber of prom­i­nent Mis­sis­sip­pi­ans — in­clud­ing the great- great- grand­son of Con­fed­er­ate Pres­i­dent Jef­fer­son Davis — al­ready had said they be­lieved it was time to re­tire flag.

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