Target: Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant
Goal: Change Mississippi’s racially insensitive and controversial state flag.
Mississippi is the only state in America that still incorporates the Confederate battle flag into its state flag. Many attempts have been made to remove the state flag, but all attempts were stopped at the statehouse. A lawsuit has since been filed claiming that the flag incites racial violence — there is a statement in the lawsuit in which the plaintiff states that he fears for his safety and that of African Americans — and that the Confederate imagery violates the 14th-Amendment, which protects all black citizens in the country. The lawsuit also demands that the Governor remove the state flag from all government offices.
The lawsuit claims that the flag communicates a state sanctioned hate speech and that it has been proven to instigate racial violence and terror. It cites incidents of violence in South Carolina and Mississippi, including a bombing at a Wal-Mart store in 2015 when a white man found out that the store stopped selling Confederate flags. The past 12 bills that proposed a change in the flag were all stalled in committees and were not able to make it to the floor by the deadline. Sign the petition below to demand that the flag is changed.
Dear Governor Bryant,
The Confederate flag was — and still is — a flag that promotes segregation and racial hatred. It is an image that makes many people, both black and white, uncomfortable. It was used during a time when black people were considered less than cattle and were treated as such.
For Mississippi to still have Confederate imagery embedded in the state’s flag is virtually the same as hateful government speech. It has a discriminatory intent and encourages Mississippi’s citizens to commit acts of racial violence.
Thirty percent of Mississippi is black and feel that the flag subjugates them to second-class status. It’s thought to be an unconstitutional practice that many have attempted to change. Twelve different bills were introduced by several lawmakers and none of them made it to the statehouse floor. It was believed that the bills would be passed and that the legislature would take down the flag. As well as these bills, a lawsuit has also come to fruition.
The lawsuit can cite many incidents in which the flag can be held responsible for promoting racial violence, including a bombing at a Mississippi Wal-Mart that occurred when a white man found out that the store no longer sold Confederate flags. The flag must be taken down.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Edward Stovakojic