Mississippi Eyes Ballot Measure Preserving Confederate Heritage, Making Christianity State Religion, English Official Language
If passed, a measure being considered for Mississippi’s 2016 ballots would make Christianity the State Religion, English the official language, and, according to its creators, preserve the State’s Confederate Heritage. That’s not all — the measure aims to ‘restrict or define’ Mississippi’s Heritage in a number of areas: State Flag and Nickname, and even university mascots. It’s currently officially defined as ‘Initiative 46,’ but proponents of the plan call it the ‘Heritage Initiative.’ If the petition garners enough response, it should show up on the Mississippi ballots in the 2016 election.
Promoted by the Magnolia State Heritage Campaign, the initiative proposes to do the following:
Acknowledge Mississippi as a “principally Christian and quintessentially Southern state” and the Christian Bible as a “foremost source of her founding principles, inspiration, and virtues.”
Declare English the official language in the state, and require all government and public communications to be in English only. (There is an exception for foreign language instruction, and those places where Latin or French are traditional, such as in medicine and law.)
The Mississippi Flag adopted in 1894 and confirmed by vote in 2001 will be declared the State Flag. (See below.)
The salute will be “I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence in her future under the guidance of Almighty God.”
“Dixie” be played after the “Star Spangled Banner” at public events.
Declare ‘Colonel Reb’ (depicted in stained glass below) as the official mascot of the University of Mississippi, and affirm that teams will be called “The Rebels.” (The measure also defines mascots for two other state universities, and forbids forcing a list of other universities to merge or consolidate.)
April would be declared Confederate Heritage Month, acknowledged by schools and used to guide curriculum, and the last day of that month would be Confederate Memorial Day, on which government offices would be closed, and employees would receive an unpaid holiday. The week before would be Dixie Week.
The Confederate Flag must be displayed on State Capitol grounds.
Borders would be restored to ‘original’ boundaries, erasing wording established in 1990.
The measure would also ensure that state identification, license tags, and other materials reflect the nickname, state flower, and flag (yes, all state id cards would bear a flag that includes the Confederate Flag as a portion of it), protect the flying of flags over veterans’ graves, and officially protect and preserve any publicly owned or held Confederate memorabilia.
According to a local news agency, the initiative is endorsed by such prominent Mississippians as former Miss America Susan Akin, author Julie Hawkins, and former State Representative Mark DuVall. The petition needs 107,216 signatures, 12% of the number of voters in the last gubernatorial election, in order to be placed on the ballot.
Proponents of the measure believe this is a sure thing. If they’re correct, Mississippi could be on the way to declaring Christianity as the State Religion and English as the official language in two years’ time.
No more pressing “1” for English.
(Article courtesy of the General William Barksdale camp 1220 SCV, Columbus, MS)