- Carlo Allegri/Reuters
- A bill in the Mississippi House of Representatives proposes a two-flag solution to the state’s debate over the use of a Confederate symbol in its current official flag.
- Republican Rep. Greg Snowden filed the measure earlier in January.
- He hopes it will be a compromise that Mississippians divided over the Confederacy will accept.
A Mississippi lawmaker is proposing a solution that he hopes will finally bring an end to one of the state’s most divisive issues, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Earlier this month, Republican Rep. Greg Snowden filed a bill that would allow two flag designs to officially represent the state. If the measure passes, Mississippi would be the only US state with two flags.
Mississippi’s current flag, which features the symbol for the Confederacy, would be left untouched. A proposed second flag would bring back an old design used on the state’s official flag from 1861 until the end of the Civil War in 1865.
That design features a magnolia tree in the center of the flag and a white star against a blue background in the top-left corner, replacing the controversial Confederate emblem currently in its place.
“We feel that it is most appropriate to adopt the historical Magnolia Flag as an additional design of the official state flag that may be flown with equal status and dignity to represent our state as we are beginning our third century as a member of the United States,” the bill says.
Snowden argued that his solution will appease both sides of the flag debate. While some Mississippians consider the current flag to be a historical tribute to their ancestors who fought and died in the Civil War, others believe it glorifies slavery and the systematic oppression of black people.
The two-flag proposal would allow people to choose which flag they want to represent them. Snowden’s bill says that both flags could be flown together or individually.
Snowden also suggested his bill would be more than just “a step toward at least some transition,” The Journal reported. He said the confederate symbol on the current flag makes businesses hesitant to relocate to Mississippi for fear of alienating clients.
More than 150 years since the end of the Civil War, the Confederacy’s legacy remains controversial. Last year, President Donald Trump renewed the debate, blaming “both sides” for violence that broke out during white-nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. Confederate statues and monuments were subsequently removed and targeted by protesters across the country.