The Mississippi state flag has been under scrutiny for decades and more recognized leaders are calling for a stand to change it.
Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey has put out a statement condemning the flag, going so far as to say that any SEC championships would not be held in the state of Mississippi until something is done about the flag.
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) June 18, 2020
“It is past time for change to be made to the flag of the State of Mississippi. Out students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all.
“In the event there is no change, there will be consideration of precluding Southeastern Conference championship events from being conducted in the State of Mississippi until the state flag is changed.”
If you aren’t familiar with Mississippi’s state flag, here is a picture of it. The top left corner of the flag contains the graphic that is connected to the Confederacy, a short-lived republic commonly associated with slavery and racial violence against Black people in the United States. Mississippi State’s athletic director, John Cohen, quickly released a statement that supported Sankey’s thoughts.
— John Cohen (@JohnCohenAD) June 18, 2020
Mississippi state lawmakers have already begun drafting legislation that would replace the state’s current flag. Who knows what type of impact Sankey’s words will have on any future legislation, but either way, he made an important (and sometimes controversial) statement during a crucial time in society. Earlier on Thursday, the University of Florida ruled that they would no longer use the “Gator Bait” cheer, which holds previous racial connotations.