Wednesday, June 24, 2020

SOS: Let People Vote on Flag

Secretary of State Michael Watson issued the following statement. 


As someone who was born and raised in Mississippi, I’ve witnessed the evolution of the state flag debate from almost every angle. I’ve heard all of the proposals from the Legislature and read countless statements from people who feel passionately about keeping our current state flag and those who feel passionately about changing it. After weighing it all, I still believe the people of Mississippi should have the power to decide on the future of our state flag.


Once the Legislature handed the voters the authority to choose our flag in 2001, any option other than allowing them to vote again would be usurping that authority. The flag represents the place we all call home, so every one of us should have a voice in the decision to keep it or change it. By putting it on the ballot, Mississippians retain the power to do more than just talk about this highly-emotional issue; they have the opportunity to stand up and let their voice be heard.

51 comments:

Cut through the chase said...

Let’s just be honest. It’s all about trying to get re-elected. You don’t want to piss off either side.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this.

But it up for a vote. Let the people speak. Don’t try some end-around through legislation.

I can live with either outcome. Taxpayers fill the coffers and they deserve to vote on this.

Politicians and social justice warriors need to stop strong arming Mississippi citizens.

You want an honest referendum on the flag? Let’s vote!

Anonymous said...

Michael: You. Don't. Matter.

Harsh but fair.

Anonymous said...

A referendum that resulted in another vote for the neoconfederate flag would create a blow to Mississippi’s reputation and economy from which we might never recover. That is an unacceptable risk the Legislature should relieve us of.

Anonymous said...

If it's on the ballot, it's not just a referendum. It should be the same as any other election. The winner wins. Not a suggestion to the legislature, as it as viewed twenty years ago. At that time, the legislature put it on the ballot as a referendum which gave them the option to ignore the result, which they did.

Anonymous said...

The vote will be pointless because racists are the majority in Mississippi. The legislature or Governor need to grow a pair and change it. Only cowards deflect to the 2001 vote or say "let the people vote"

Mad Money said...

My vote will never be allowed to be counted. We all know how this going to end so let's just get it over with for Gods Sake.

Anon-E-Mouse said...

Legislators are elected to represent. Hold them accountable and force them to vote, by voice.

Let's just get on with it said...

Just do it already.

Anonymous said...

Usurp our authority? Come on SOS. If you are in favor of the current divisive flag you need a better excuse than simply being an "anti-usurper."

Anonymous said...

I am okay with letting folks vote as long as the current flag is not an option.

Anonymous said...

I'm okay with a vote, but the flag idiots will make sure the vote is convoluted with multiple options so that nothing gets a majority. Heck, its already started with the Stennis flag versus the "In God we Trust" flag.

Same shenanigans they pulled with the marijuana vote.

Anonymous said...

Put the question about what department governs drivers licenses on the ballot.

Put the pay of legislators and SOS on the ballot.

Put PERS on the ballot.

Aren't those things more important than a stupid flag?

Anonymous said...

Still 50.

Anonymous said...

5:37, so to think the vote of the people has no value and decisions should be made by a handful of people?

Ok...so much for democracy.

Anonymous said...

Look for MDAH to push for compulsory Holocaust Studies in Mississippi public schools.
A Ken Burns documentary on the holocaust scheduled for release in 2021. William Winter and his co-chairman are preparing textbook curricula.

Anonymous said...

5:37 - Many don’t want to change the flag because 1) no one likes being told what they have to do or else and 2) because, as you can easily imagine, it won’t change (or mean) anything to replace it. You will still point and cry racist for any view you oppose - under the new flag as you have under the old flag.

The same flag that is portrayed as only a confederate flag is also the flag that has flown through years of racial and societal progress in this state. But we can’t give attention to the positive. Too many depend on that hate and benefits of feigned victimhood.

Anonymous said...

Michael Watson is just another slippery politician. He is already running for Governor. He doesn't have the guts to come out on either side and takes the "let the people decide" tactic. We see through you, Michael. Why aren't you working to make voting safer in the state? Why aren't you taking a leadership role?

Anonymous said...

Way to pass the buck. If you don’t want to change the flag, just say it. My vote is on whoever is running against these scared losers.

Anonymous said...

TRANSLATION: I don’t want to take a stand. Let the people do my job for me. I don’t want to make a group mad because I want to get re-elected because I have no hope in the private world. Wow, leadership escapes our SOS. Way to pass the buck there Mikel. Courage to answer the call is not in your wheelhouses. I guess Mikel wants us to vote on contentious tax issues and Medicaid expansion. That impacts all the people.

The Legislature adopted it. The election in 2001 was a recommendation. The legislature came back and adopted the flag. The legislature can adopt a new one and those voters will get to vote in a few years to voice their approval or disapproval in their “elected representative.”

How long will we look like bafoons for the sake of a “Confederate Flag?”

Anonymous said...

Dont play another down until the flag comes down

Without black players “in the fields” football will be as exciting as used bowling.

While we are at it....pay these guys....all of them

Anonymous said...

I want to change the flag but it is way more important to me to keep the Dems out of as many state wide offices as possible. I will gladly face whatever financial duress keeping the flag causes if that's what it takes to keep republicans in office and "law and order" (which the Dems seem to no longer care about) as a cornerstone of our society. Can you imagine having a governor in office who refuses to call the national guard in when Jackson finally explodes ? Just do what it takes to stay in office Repubs...that's all I ask.

Soggy Sweat said...

“Some of my friends are for it, some are against it...I am for my friends.” Hey Mr. Watson, show some guts and tell us your position on the flag, sir. Otherwise, be quiet and do no harm.

Anonymous said...

Change the flag, tear down the statues, rename the streets, parks, buildings, forts. And once that is accomplished we will still have all the violent crimes, shootings, fatherless homes, lack of responsibility and low graduation rates.

You see, true change comes from within.

Anonymous said...

You want the people to decide? Fine.

The Governor or the Legislature should declare the current flag dead and retired, and then place a choice of different alternatives on the ballot for the voters to select, but WITHOUT THE CURRENT FLAG AS A CHOICE.

Anonymous said...

Michael Watson deserves a promotion. Surly republicans understand the only reason the people put up with their corrupt policies is to preserve the flag. Without the flag republicans will fall one by one the same as the democrats in 2001.

Anonymous said...

No, make them vote on the record.
Too many cowards in this state, playing both sides.
Tate is one of the biggest cowards. His statement was a non-statement.
He says the people should vote but if the legislature votes to change it, he won't veto the bill because it would be pointless. In other words, "I'll veto the bill, but I won't". Make a stand one way or not Governor. That's what leadership is all about. And by the way, don't hide behind Jesus by saying you've been "praying".

Anonymous said...

I thought we already voted on the flag, how many times does the 'Sipp have to prove its ignorance? Any new design will get voted down, and we will have wasted a shit-ton of time - just have the legislature vote and let's get on with our lives.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that many of those voting to change the current so called "racist" flag are rootless"lifers and army brats," judging by the "Scat" language that they employ to express their opinions.
And they will leave the voting booth...looking forward to an overseas deployment to another killing field in the Middle East where they will wreak death and destruction on the hapless peoples there as the MNG did at the cities of Fallujah and then at Mosul where the survivors are still searching for and recovering the remains of family members.

Anonymous said...

Now is the perfect time to change the flag! If you are conservative, as I am, there is NO WAY you would ever look to the other side of the ballot with the lunacy they now represent. So Tater and Co. are for the most part insulated in these crazy times. Some idiot will pop up in the primary running on the flag issue but its a non starter. We all agree? Good. Lets do this, Change it!

Anonymous said...

Watson has no guts.

Anonymous said...

Mike needs to realize that he is not in Jackson County anymore.

Anonymous said...

@8:53
Yup, the SOS ain't in Vancleave or Escatawpa anymore. This is Rankin and Madison. We have higher a higher class of racist hillbilly.

Anonymous said...

I am for changing the flag, however I am not for strong arming the people. What happens in a few years when there is an issue that the other side feels disenfranchised and they petition to override the majority of citizens to get it taken care of? Yes its time for a new flag, but you also have to respect the majority or you are going down a slippery slope.

Anonymous said...

9:24
I resent that statement, we still have plenty of low class hillbillies in Rankin! Look at some of our former politicians (State/County)

Long time reader said...

I always enjoy coming to this site to be talked down to by dumbass hypocrites that drank their way through some overpriced university. These same assholes are so narcissistic that to them the long-range damage done for immediate self-satisfaction is immaterial.

Anonymous said...

Given the logic of those commenting in defense of the flag having stood for " good" in the past, you should, not to be hypocritical.

You should also defend the right to fly the Nazi flag, the flag communist's use with the hammer and sicle, the British and Spanish and Imperial Russia flags...all of which once flew in this land and any number of other flags whose symbols on those flags, farther back in history once represented more positive and had not been sullied or become irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Can't be the stennis flag. He was a huge segregationist. We need the magnolia tree flag. No way on the Stennis flag!!!

Change the Flag and Fill the Potholes said...

Constituents vote with their hearts and businesses vote with their dollars. What do you think matters more to the legislators?...

Anonymous said...

Watson is a coward for dodging this issue the elected officials are in a position to do the right thing and change the flag. My family has been in Mississippi before statehood and now is the time to get rid of a flag that divides the state.

Tate and Gunn need to show some leadership and grow a pair.

Anonymous said...

I love how we elected and pay people to represent us and make certain decisions on our behalf who then turn to the voters and say you need to make a decision on this issue. Why are we paying them and if they are unable to make decisions and/or exercise poor judgment should they be demoted or have their pay reduced?

Frank Griffin said...

Watson is still sucking up to Chris McDaniel. And Melanie Sojourner. Three pieces of moldy bread.

Mississippi is still pissed that it didn't secede first, so it's determined to be the last state to rejoin the United States. Sad!

Anonymous said...

It's truly amazing that otherwise intelligent people do NOT want a statewide vote /referendum on this issue....bc they are scared it might not go their desired way. How arrogant and paternalist.

It's the RIGHT of the people to vote on this.

Anonymous said...

1:38- WRONG! Sometimes, leaders need to act like parents do with immature children. They need to do what is right for the good over everybody.

That is the case here and politicians like M.W. are simply hiding behind "the people should vote" because they are either too timid to make a decision or they personally want the flag to remain.

It's time to change the flag so let the leadership take the lead and show they are not totally tone deaf on the issue.

Anonymous said...

The only thing worse than a politician who takes the wrong stand is one who won't take any stand at all.

Any politician who stands in the way of changing the flag is in for a tough road ahead. The majority of MS wants the flag changed, business want the flag changed, colleges and many cities want the flag changed.

Anonymous said...

We live in a Republic. That means that there are hundreds of things we delegate the authority to decide to representatives WE elected. If we don't trust them to make informed decisions, we should either do away with the form of government and select a dictator or we could vote on everything, which would be a full time job for everybody. If the legislature can't handle this, what good are they?

Anonymous said...

Saw Watson on the news tonight. Shortly after the news showed poll results showing 73% of respondents want the flag changed. WOW. Watson is really off base on this one.

Anonymous said...

There is no “right” to vote on changing the flag. The legislature adopted it and has the power to change it. I hope that happens soon.

Anonymous said...

“ True change comes from within.” So why was there the Civil War?

Anonymous said...

There is no “right” to vote on changing the flag. The legislature adopted it and has the power to change it. I hope that happens soon.

This is somewhat inaccurate. In the late 1800s, the MS legislature enacted a "design of the state flag" law.

Then, in the early 1900s Mississippi adopted a revised legal code that repealed ALL general laws. That legislature enacted many of the previous general laws and brought them forward into the new code, but they DID NOT bring the "design of the state flag" part of the code forward.

So, for nearly a century, MS did not have an official state flag. Ronnie Musgrove put the flag up for referendum with his new design so that MS could officially establish a state flag. The people voted for the current flag.

Anonymous said...

Harkins wants to change the flag, but wants to steal Jackson’s airport. Time to vote that guy out of office.

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