Confederate Flag No Longer Flies at the University of Mississippi

Confederate Flag No Longer Flies at the University of Mississippi
Source: AP
Source: AP

The rebel flag no longer flies over Ole Miss, home of the actual Rebels, as of Monday morning.

The state flag at the University of Mississippi campus was taken down this week shortly after student senators voted 33-15 to remove it from their campus, CNN reports. The Mississippi state flag features the Confederate battle flag in the upper-left corner.

According to a university statement issued to CNN, "the flag will be preserved in the University Archives along with resolutions from students, faculty and staff calling for its removal."

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the removal was ordered by Interim Chancellor Morris Stocks, who issued the following statement: "As Mississippi's flagship university, we have a deep love and respect for our state. Because the flag remains Mississippi's official banner, this was a hard decision. I understand the flag represents tradition and honor to some. But to others, the flag means that some members of the Ole Miss family are not welcomed or valued."

In June, self-declared white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine black congregants, including church leader and state Sen. Clementa C. Pinckney, at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. His manifesto included photographs of himself posing with the Confederate flag.

On July 9, following weeks of debate spurred by the attacks, the state of South Carolina removed the Confederate flag that had flown outside the state capitol since 1961. Major corporations including Apple, Walmart, Amazon, Sears and eBay all stopped selling products with Confederate imagery on them as well as the flags themselves.

"I understand the flag represents tradition and honor to some. But to others, the flag means that some members of the Ole Miss family are not welcomed or valued."

South Carolina Gov. Phil Bryant opposes changing the flag to purge Confederate imagery, though GOP Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives Philip Gunn has called it a "point of offense that needs to be removed," Mississippi News Now reported.

A statewide referendum to remove the Confederate battle flag from the Mississippi state flag failed in 2001. That year, attorney Greg Stewart, who coordinated the campaign to keep the flag as-is, told ABC News, "I don't think there'll be any support in Mississippi to bring this up again .... They had a good shot, they gave it a good college try. It's over."

The University of Mississippi's press office did not return Mic's request for comment.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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