NAACP endorses new state flag design
Feb. 26, 2001
JACKSON (AP) A new Mississippi flag that replaces the Confederate emblem with a field of 20 stars has the long-awaited support of the NAACP.
An endorsement from the group came Saturday, more than a month before Mississippians vote April 17 to either back the current flag used since 1894 or embrace the new one.
This flag needs to be changed,'' said Eugene Bryant, Mississippi president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
I think it's time that Mississippi leave the Confederacy behind. I understand why people want to remember their heritage, but we must respect both heritages. Let us move forward with a progressive Mississippi,'' said Bryant.
A newspaper poll shows 55 percent of voters in last year's election support the 1894 flag while 34 percent support the new flag.
Earl Faggert of Heidelberg, past commander in chief of Sons of Confederate Veterans internationally, said the NAACP's support for the new flag will help him rally more Mississippians who support the status quo.
I think it shows an extremist position for the other side,'' he said. The more extreme, the greater likelihood people of goodwill will react to that heated rhetoric and that spin of irrational thought that we get from the extremist groups.''
A survey showed that 20 percent of black Mississippians support the 1894 flag; 18 percent of white Mississippians support the new flag.