Remember the phrase 'consent of the governed?' The idea behind that phrase was officially stomped to death and buried in Mississippi on July 1, 2020, when the governor signed a bill, passed by both chambers of the state legislature, which took down the Mississippi flag. The flag had been in place since 1894.
Mississippians had last voted on a flag referendum on April 17, 2001. The vote was 64% - 36% to retain the flag which contained the Confederate battle flag in its design. Over the years since, the Confederacy-haters in our midst, and in other parts of the country, would occasionally demand the changing of the design, but the demands reached a fever pitch in the last few weeks, particularly following the death of the man in Minneapolis. Yes, it happened in Minneapolis, not Jackson, or Meridian, or Vicksburg, or Natchez, or Waynesboro. The officer involved in the man's death did not have a Mississippi or Confederate flag tattoo on his forearm, so I really never got the connection.
The fatal blow came when the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, and the NCAA informed Mississippi State University and Ole Miss that they would not be hosting any post season athletic events until and unless the flag was changed. One of Mississippi State's star players had threatened not to play this fall if the flag was not changed. This likely caught the attention of the SEC office. Sports is of utmost importance, so the athletics directors, and the head coaches at the respective schools undoubtedly put tremendous, immediate pressure on the legislature and the governor to make the change – NOW! Whether the ballplayers can write a coherent paragraph on any given subject is irrelevant. What matters (other than black lives) is the fact that people pay big money to see these ballplayers run up and down the football field in the fall, and the basketball court in the winter. Ticket sales, along with the big money-maker, television rights, pays the athletics directors', the football coaches', and the basketball coaches' seven-figure salaries, and these people are somewhat akin to drug dealers – mess with their gravy train, and you will pay the price.
The heroic state senator Chris McDaniel and a handful of others, fought to force the flag opponents to start a referendum, to put it before the voters again. The legislature rejected the referendum process, and took matters into their own hands. The deal was sealed July 1. And, man, they didn't waste one minute in taking the flag down from the pole. The national and Mississippi media were all there to record the historic event, signifying Mississippi's official entry and semi-acceptance into the politically-correct 21st century. The Confederacy-haters can now sleep well at night.
However, as Senator McDaniel stated, they're not finished. 'Ole Miss Rebels' will have to be changed to Mississippi whatever. I suggest 'Mississippi Social Justice Warriors,' which might work as long as a tomahawk or an arrow is not included in the logo. The statue of Confederate General Stephen D. Lee, who was Mississippi State's first president, will have to be removed from the center of campus. Lee Hall will have to be renamed. Jefferson Davis County will have to be renamed.
The great purge....to be continued.
Anthony Powell is an unreconstructed Southerner, a married, home-schooling father of seven, four of whom are still at home. He and his wife own a screen-printing business. He is a life-long resident of rural Wayne County, Mississippi, who has lived on the same 20 acres his entire life. In his spare time, he hunts, fishes, enjoys Scrabble with his children, and plays bluegrass music.