Like a bad penny, the issue of the 2001 referendum he led to give Mississippi voters an opportunity to change the state flag’s 1894 design to a new one which deleted the Confederate battle flag’s “stars and bars” is likely to come back to Democratic U.S. Senate nominee and former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.
It won’t be the first time. The flag issue was a strong subtext in Musgrove’s 2003 re-election bid loss to current Gov. Haley Barbour.
Barbour made clear during a 2003 appearance before The Clarion-Ledger Editorial Board that he differed with Musgrove on the state flag issue.
Pointing to a lapel pin that featured a Mississippi state flag crossed with Old Glory, Barbour said: “I’ve worn this pin for the entirety of the campaign. I’m running for governor of Mississippi and this is the Mississippi state flag. I’m not in favor of changing it.”
Musgrove, on the other hand, said of the flag vote in his 2001 “State of the State” address: “The people of Mississippi are waiting. The world is watching. I urge you to put this issue on the ballot and let us move forward.”