Governor: 2016 good year for flag election _ maybe

If Mississippi voters are going to consider removing the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag, 2016 would be a good time to do it, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant said Thursday.

Bryant, seeking a second term next week, answered reporters’ flag questions after he spoke at Hobnob, a casual gathering of businesspeople sponsored by the state chamber of commerce.

He said he’s not pushing for change, but he recognizes the flag is getting lots of debate. Groups that support and oppose the flag are proposing initiatives that would force the issue to a statewide vote if they gather enough signatures on petitions. But, because Mississippi’s initiative law is complex, the soonest one of those proposals could land on a statewide ballot is 2018….

…”I’d like to see the Legislature put it on the ballot in the presidential year, for a number of reasons,” Bryant said. “That’s the largest voter turnout that we have in Mississippi.”