House Democrat Leader State Rep. David Baria: It’s time for the Mississippi state flag to go

It is long past time to remove the battle flag of a rebellion against our country, a rebellion based on the belief that white men should be allowed to own dark skinned people, from all official state symbols in Mississippi, including the state flag. For the State of Mississippi to continue to endorse the Confederate Battle Flag as a part of our official state flag is to tacitly agree with the premise that all men are not created equal and that some are, in fact, inferior to others simply because of the amount of melanin in their skin.

It is time now to retire the current state flag and adopt a new, more inclusive emblem for all Mississippians. Those who wish to continue to celebrate the Confederate rebellion are free to do so by flying the flag of their choice on their homes, cars and boats, but the State of Mississippi should set it aside. If Mississippi can do so, the message to all the world will be clear: hate will be neither sanctioned nor condoned in Mississippi. The very state once considered to be the most hateful place in America will loudly and clearly proclaim that all men are truly created equal and that hate has no place here.

Clarion Ledger