The Mississippi Economic Council released the following statement Wednesday morning regarding the state flag:

“The Mississippi Economic Council has a long-standing position that the state flag should be changed.

“The presence of the Confederate Battle Flag as a component of the 1894 flag is offensive to many, not representative of all Mississippians, and perpetuates negative stereotypes of our state. Regardless of its origins, and despite some opinions that the emblem honors history and heritage, the reality is the battle flag has become a global symbol of prejudice and hatred.

“MEC feels strongly that adoption of a new flag is a timely and high profile action that would improve Mississippi’s image, advance a new narrative about our state, and set the stage to enhance economic opportunities and improve quality of life in a fair and inclusive manner for every Mississippian.

“The current flag is harmful to Mississippi’s image and reputation for those outside our state and is hurtful to many fellow Mississippians. MEC encourages state leaders to take action to change the flag.”

The release includes a listing of names and organizations backing MEC’s stance.