Mississippi Lawmakers Vote to Retire State Flag Rooted in the Confederacy

The flag, which has flown since 1894, is poised to come down, becoming yet another emblem of the Confederacy to be removed across the South

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi lawmakers voted on Sunday to bring down, once and for all, the state flag dominated by the Confederate battle emblem that has flown for 126 years, adding a punctuation point to years of efforts to take down relics of the Confederacy across the South.

The flag, the only state banner left in the country with the overt Confederate symbol, served for many as an inescapable sign of Mississippi’s racial scars and of the consequences of that history in defining perceptions of the state.

Still embraced by many white Mississippians as a proud display of Old South heritage, the flag increasingly has come to evoke segregation, racial violence and a war that had a central aim of preserving slavery.

In Mississippi, the state with the nation’s highest percentage of African-Americans, that has long been the understanding of black residents. It’s now the view of many white Mississippians as well. For others, the drag on the state’s perception by outsiders and the continuing friction within were battles too costly to keep waging.

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