Tuesday, February 23, 2016

It's a possible maybe

Mississippi Speakah of the House Philip Gunn clarified his position on changing the Mississippi state flag today in the following press release:

Speaker Philip Gunn Statement on Changing MS Flag

Jackson, MS— Speaker of the House Philip Gunn (R-Big 10 Tire) responded today to Tuesday's committee deadline passing without the emergence of a bill to address the State flag. 

"For anyone to suggest I have surrendered or backed up on my position of changing the flag is simply not true," said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. "I have not wavered in my viewpoint that we need a different flag to represent Mississippi. I have spoken with many House members both individually and collectively and have tried to convince them to adopt my view. 

“I have explored every option from taking legislative action to change the flag to adopting two official flags, but we cannot get a consensus on how to address the issue,” he continued. "I will continue to stand by my view that changing the flag is the right thing to do. The flag is going to change. We can deal with it now or leave for future generations to address. I believe our state needs to address it now. I am disappointed that nothing took shape this year, but I will continue this effort. 

Speaker Phillip Gunn in June

 Meanwhile, who can forget this classic? 


Anonymous said...

Either he wavered or he is the weakest, most ineffective, Speaker in State history.

Anonymous said...

Hyperbole much 9:18?

Anonymous said...

He is only focused on himself. Glad my child moved out of state after he graduated college.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why we need a legislature if they simply defer to the people to vote on the hard issues.

Anonymous said...

He wavered, 9:18. You should have heard the lack of applause and scatterred boos when Gunn was introduced at the Dixie National a couple weeks ago, not to mention all of the house members he put in a difficult spot by blurting this out prior to november.

Anonymous said...

He's the weakest, most ineffective Speaker in state history.

As for the flag, just leave it alone and move on to something that actually matters. Having said that, I suppose a change to the Bonnie Blue flag could be an alternative. It's historically significant, after all.

Anonymous said...

The Bonnie Blue flag was shared with Texas so I'd suggest The Magnolia Flag as it was distinctively Mississippi's flag after it was admitted as a State and was in place in March, 1861.

Of Sawdust and Banners said...

As to Gunn's introduction at The Dixie National, I wonder if thirty people in attendance knew who he was, had ever heard of him or even cared. They attend to see rodeo events and hear country music, not to see Feel Bryant, Cindy Smith or Philip Gunn. Such introductions, riding around in wagons or the backs of pickups and waving to the crowd are a total waste of the crowd's time.

To Mr. Wizard at 9:53, yes, God help us if we look to 'the people' for input on issues of importance to them.

Anonymous said...

I suppose a change to the Bonnie Blue flag could be an alternative. It's historically significant, after all.

The Bonnie Blue flag is a beautiful flag, too.

Anonymous said...

The Bonnie Blue is the answer. Maybe it will happen in another 50 years.

Anonymous said...

Yet, the Bonnie Blue is a symbol of racism. As is the Magnolia flag. Both flew over slavery.

Me? My family has been in MS since before it was a state. My forefathers owned up to 13 slaves. I say this to establish I am not a carpetbagger white guy.

If it were up to me, I'd dump the current design and find something else that is astheticallly pleasing (the proposed design that was on the ballot years ago wasn't)

But Mississippians are stubborn and resistant to change. Our dullard pride will keep us shackled to traditions that should have been abandoned years ago.

I, like the above poster, will be happy when my children move out of this cesspool of hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

"Not sure why we need a legislature if they simply defer to the people to vote on the hard issues. "

How terrible! Letting citizens decide matters affecting their lives!

We need strong masters to make these decisions for us :-)

Anonymous said...

To me, this is by far the coolest redesign I've seen so far. So awesome looking.


Anonymous said...

It's too late Gunn. Your politician days are over come the next election.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gunn took a courageous stand, but it's understandably not a hill he wishes to die on. He has come to the full realization that a majority of Mississippians will only relinquish our flags when they are pried from our cold, dead fingers. I do not blame him for trying to put the issue behind him.

Anonymous said...

I say raise the Bonnie Blue. It was raised over Jackson the day after we seceded. See? Nobody is offended until somebody else suggests they ought to be.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first poster. If we are to believe he hasn't wavered, he is a weak Speaker if he can't get a bill he wants out of committee.

Anonymous said...

If he was that weak, he would not still be the speaker. He is actually quite respected in the house. He spoke from his heart, but didn't force it on people. I see nothing wrong with that.

And 8:22....we just had the "next election".

Anonymous said...

Wrong 8:43 and before. He could have gotten it out of committee but as he said there is not an agreement among the members as to which approach to take (among three or four). He is a smart Speaker in that he is not going to bring it to the floor and put all the members into a catfight over something that they cannot come to at least a majority agreement upon. Not a sign of a 'weak' leader; rather a smart one that is also not a dictator over an issue such as this.

And to 8:22 - I'll take that bet any day of the week. But I'll also bet you aren't willing to put your pocketbook where your rearend is.

Capt Wm said...

If you did a blank sheet of cloth for a flag and black "leaders" declared it to be "racist", the media would be all over it. As a history buff, I like the idea of going back to the Magnolia flag. It is simply a magnolia tree on a plain white background. It is clean and recognizable. But, of course, there are those that will claim it's racist because it has a white background or the it "represents slavery", etc. Actually, to our black leaders everything represents slavery...........otherwise they couldn't justify their position as "leaders".

Anonymous said...

The people of Ms. has already decided about the flag. Remember we voted on it. Does anyone remember the results?
If there is enough people who want to change the flag there is a way to get on the ballot. Then the people can make the choice again. The people may be ready for a change or they may like the flag we have.
The people need to be the ones who make that choice. We do not need a small group of people making that choice for us.

Anonymous said...

I;s serious in asking this...what is the purpose of a state flag? Why is it necessary to have one?

Anonymous said...

10:41 - do you think that 'the people' should make the choice for everything? Why is the flag something 'the people' should choose but not the coverage of Medicaid? Or the speed limits on the highway? Or hunting seasons; income tax rates, etc.....

The flag is not the most important issue facing this state, although some folks might think so just because they want to claim their 'right' to claim their 'right'. I agree with 11:07 - what the hell difference does it make? (Hate to sound like the shrill Hiillary but it fit!)

Speaker Gunn spoke his opinion. He didn't force it on the House members or beyond. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and we don't all agree with you. I don't give a damn about the flag, and damn sure don't want to see the state go through a several month long public fight over something so insignificant. Go fly whatever flag you want to. Eliminate it. But lets don't have an election on it. Next thing, you will want to have an election over our state song. And then our state bird. Where do you think it should end?

Anonymous said...

11:49, I thought it ended when the people voted to keep the flag we have.
We have a small group, who have gotten what they want by yelling racist, wanting to make a decision that the majority of the people do not want.

Anonymous said...

Gunn has his heart in the right place, but in deference to the House members, many of whom are put in a rock-and-hard-place situation by this issue, Gunn has taken the hit and placed the issue on the shelf for now. A good leader knows when not to drag everyone down. Live to fight another day, etc....

The flag issue is a distraction for our state. There is no logical reason for a state to have a flag that offends about 40% of its population. The confederate battle flag is an artifact remembering a war THAT WE LOST. By that logic, why not put the flag of South Vietnam on our flag?? It does NOTHING but cost Mississippi face outside of the state. Time to change it. The Stennis flag will work fine.

Putting it before the people is a politician's way to dodge the issue. Commonly called a cop-out. Legislators should vote on it or find a way to place it before a commission whose result would be binding without a vote.

Anonymous said...

Can someone fill me in on the "Big 10 Tire" reference? I'm too busy/naive to get the joke, if it is one.

Anonymous said...

12:31. Yes, we did have a vote on it. About 15 years ago. I voted to keep it, although I really didn't care a whole lot either way.

But that was 15 years ago. Do you think that once a decision is made it can't ever be changed? Speed limits in MS used to be 65mph. Then they changed to 55mph. Then they changed to 70mph. Just one example, although they weren't voted on "by the people".

Use your example. Several counties in MS voted - by the people - to keep their counties dry after the state went wet in 1966. Some counties have had several votes. Some after voting dry had another election five years later and voted wet. Should they not have had that option after 'the people spoke'? Recently one county that had finally voted wet had another election - and voted dry. Should they not have had the second election that made them wet? And then not have the next where they went back?

Just because there was a 'vote of the people' in 2001 doesn't mean that there will never be a change after that. Times change - things happen. The only person that likes change is a wet baby.

Anonymous said...

So you support another statewide vote @1:00 PM? Right?

1:00 pm here said...

No. I don't support another statewide referendum. I support the legislature dealing with this issue - one way or the other. We pay them to make these type decisions; we don't pay them to pass the buck and avoid them.

Anonymous said...

If the vote 15 years ago bothers you why not get it on the ballot again. If the majority of people want to change the flag it should be a slam dunk.
There will be hard feelings from one side if the politicians decide to force the flag on the people. Politicians like to be reelected.
If the majority of people do not like a flag forced on them they will replace the politicians who decided to do that. The new politicians can then change the flag or be replaced.
Ms. already has too many crooked politicians. If we have to keep replacing them we will have to elect new crooks or make crooks out of some good people.
Saves a lot of trouble just by letting those who want to change the flag getting the signatures to put it up for vote. The trouble is those who want to change the flag are not sure enough people agree with them. They do not want to vote but would rather force people to believe like they do.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't bother me if a politician is replaced for taking action. I would rather replace the ones that don't have the gonads to stand up and do their job.

In my opinion, it should not have been on the ballot 15 years ago - but we had the "little kitten" Musgrove for Governor and he was afraid of anything except $$$s.

If there are hard feelings and the politicians are worried about them, then they shouldn't have asked for the job.
Your suggestion of 'getting signatures' is not what has been being proposed, but I recognize you probably just don't keep up too good. The way it was done before was the Legislature put it on the ballot, not the people. This year, there have been several legislators introduce bills to put it on the ballot again - some wanting to keep the flag and others wanting to change it. But ALL of them wanting to avoid having to do their job and making the decision on their own.

Yes - if you don't like how your legislature would vote on this or any other issue, you have the chance to replace them. That is why they are afraid to make the hard choices - and pass the buck. They want the weekly check, the per diem, the campaign contributions, and the SLURP. They don't want to have to make a hard vote.

Unlike you, I recognize and rejoice in the fact that we have a republican form of government. We don't put each and every issue up for 'the people' to vote on - we elect representatives to do that for us.

And, for what its worth, if it were put up for a vote 'of the people' I don't give a tinker's damn which way it goes - I want to see the state move into solving some real problems. Not this issue that some folks on both sides want to demogogue and think is the end-all be-all burning issue of the day.

Anonymous said...

The new flag design is really nice! It's pleasing to the eye and though it will never erase history, give it a chance.

Anonymous said...

So your pablum about change @ 1:00 was just window dressing. Got it.

I support the legislature dealing with this issue - one way or the other.

Well then, since they dealt with it for this session, one way or the other, you should be satisfied.

First National said...

If we got rid of all flags that flew over slavery, the entire world might have only twenty remaining. And, no, neither the current Mississippi flag nor the Confederate Battle Flag, 'flew over slavery'.

Battle flags of all sorts and descriptions were used during the war as a means of identifying troops and posts. Flags were not used to tout political or racial messages. They were used to keep people from shooting their comrades.

Every slave ever brought to the United States traveled on a ship flying the US Flag, registered in a northern port.

1:00 here again - for the last time... said...

7:59 - No, my pablum was not at all 'just window dressing'. I meant everything I said, and don't know why you would assume anything else. But since you have no way of even basic understanding anything that disagrees with your all-ensuing knowledge, I assume all your pablum was only window dressing.

To answer your question: Yes - I am totally satisfied. They dealt with it; at least for the moment. (Nothing is ever dead in the legislature until it is D,D,and Dead.) As I said, I don't give a rats ass what the final result is, as long as we don't put the state through the national ridicule that would come from a several month long national TV coverage sticking a microphone in front of idiots like you so that your comments - however insightful you might think they are - are broadcast over the country.

Keep the flag. I am perfectly happy. Change it. I don't care. Don't want to go thru the process, but won't cry myself to sleep about it at night. My argument, in the simpliest way I can say it to help you understand what appears to you as 'window dressing' is - We elect the legislature to represent the citizens. I expect them to do it, and not run away from decisions that will be unpopular no matter what they decide.

This issue is going to make half the people mad either way. But that is no reason for the guys/gals in the legislature to pass the buck and avoid controversy. Too much like the famous Soggy Sweat.

Anonymous said...

Forget about a flag. Just run up a white flag. It is time for Mississippi to surrender. I know giving up last place is hard but it is time.

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