J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “flag”

Is the Mississippi Flag Truly A Thing of the Past?

The most recent rendition of the Mississippi flag was established in 1894. That’s a really long time, y’all. But, of course, the flag has fallen under scrutiny within the past few years due to political correctness and misdirected racial discrimination. I hope this post sheds some light on the reason why the flag was chosen by the state’s citizens. A special thank you to Mr. Michael C. Barefield for your article.

MS flag

My 2 cents worth about the Mississippi Flag

In the late 1990s, I was an attorney of record involved in the “Flag Lawsuit” filed against the State of Mississippi. The following is based upon my legal and historical research and personal knowledge from that lawsuit. 

The canton corner of the Mississippi Flag, though appearing identical to the Confederate Battle Flag, is actually, from its very statutory description, a symbol of reunification at a time when the people of Mississippi had suffered through more than a decade of bloody war and reconstruction. By 1890, Reconstruction had ended, yet Blacks continued to be elected to the legislature. 

The current flag was first adopted in 1894, and based upon historical documentation submitted to the court in the “Flag Lawsuit” by the Attorney General, Blacks were members of the Mississippi Legislature and voted in favor of the adoption of the current flag. Following is the law that adopted the flag. Pay close attention to the symbolic meaning of the 13 stars and the colors. 

“§ 3-3-16. Design of state flag. The official flag of the State of Mississippi shall have the following design: with width two-thirds (2/3) of its length; with the union (canton) to be square, in width two-thirds (2/3) of the width of the flag; the ground of the union to be red and a broad blue saltire thereon, bordered with white and emblazoned with thirteen (13) mullets or five-pointed stars, corresponding with the number of the original States of the Union; the field to be divided into three (3) bars of equal width, the upper one blue, the center one white, and the lower one, extending the whole length of the flag, red (the national colors); this being the flag adopted by the Mississippi Legislature in the 1894 Special Session.” 

Just 4 years prior, the following historical account is evidence of the positive race relations experienced by Mississippians at the time. 

In the Mississippi House of Representatives on February 1, 1890, an appropriation for a monument to the Confederate dead was being considered. A delegate had just spoken against the bill, when John F. Harris, a Black Republican delegate from Washington County, rose to speak: 

“Mr. Speaker! I have risen in my place to offer a few words on the bill. 

I have come from a sick bed. Perhaps it was not prudent for me to come. But sir, I could not rest quietly in my room without contributing a few remarks of my own. 

I was sorry to hear the speech of the young gentlemen from Marshall County. I am sorry that any son of a soldier would go on record as opposed to the erections of a monument in honor of the brave dead. And, Sir, I am convinced that had he seen what I saw at Seven Pines, and in the Seven Day’s fighting around Richmond, the battlefield covered with mangled forms of those who fought for this country and their country’s honor, he would not have made the speech. 

When the news came that the South had been invaded, those men went forth to fight for what they believed, and they made not requests for monuments. But they died, and their virtues should be remembered. 

Sir, I went with them. I, too, wore the gray, the same color my master wore. We stayed for four long years, and if that war had gone on till now I would have been there yet. I want to honor those brave men who died for their convictions. 

When my Mother died, I was a boy. Who, Sir, then acted the part of Mother to the orphaned slave boy, but my old Missus! Were she living now, or could speak to me from those high realms where are gathered the sainted dead, she would tell me to vote for this bill. And, Sir, I shall vote for it. I want it known to all the world that my vote is given in favor of the bill to erect a monument in HONOR OF THE CONFEDERATE DEAD.” 

When the applause died down, the measure passed overwhelmingly, and every Black member voted “AYE.” 

(Source: Daily Clarion Ledger, Jackson, Mississippi, Feb 23, 1890) 

In my opinion, Mississippians have a very amicable relationship among all races, though by human nature, there are always exceptions to the rule. Racism has existed from the beginning of mankind and likely will always exist to a certain degree. Though we should always strive for improvement in race relations and in all matters, everyone should respect other’s cultural differences and no segment of society should be condemned from honoring their culture. It resolves nothing to ban a flag. Our energies are better served focusing on true resolutions. 

But, that’s not really the issue here. The issue here is disparagement of our Great State by outsiders for political or other advantage. The fact is, Mississippi Blacks and Whites, in harmony, adopted a flag in 1894 to symbolize both a painful history (lest we forget) and a reunification of a great State with a great Nation. Due to a procedural technicality that occurred in the adoption of the 1906 Mississippi Code, the Supreme Court determined in the “Flag Lawsuit” that the flag was no longer “official” and invited the Legislature to act. The Legislature accepted the invitation and placed the issue on the ballot in 2001. A campaign of educating voters about the true history and symbolism of our flag was conducted by supporters of the Flag. 2/3 of Mississippi voters, Black and White, re- adopted the 1894 flag. 

Outsiders wish to disparage our great people. I pray that our elected officials will not succumb to outside influence. Should they do so, however, I trust that they will limit their response by again letting the people decide this issue and allow racial harmony to shine once again and remind the rest of the Nation how proud and united we are as a People, in spite of a painful history and our imperfections. History should be embraced and should serve as a reminder to avoid repeating. 

Again, “lest we forget.” 

(Article courtesy of the Jeff Davis Legion, Official Publication of the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Volume 22, Issue 6, June 2020 ed.)

 

 

 

Another Over-Reaction

I have to champion Mississippi Governor Bryant for standing up to the politically correct. He never waivers in honoring the state’s Confederate veterans. With Memorial Day just behind us, it is imperative that we honor and cherish these ancestors. What everyone seems to forget is that it was a different time back then, with a different political climate and different viewpoints. Maybe we don’t agree with them now, but they were completely acceptable and widespread back then. The Confederate flag, to many, was a sign of independence from an oppressive national government, not a symbol of racism. It’s sad how things like the CSA flag have become misconstrued and misunderstood over the years. I hope Mississippi doesn’t cave like so many other southern states have in regard to their flag. But the pressure’s on, as this article demonstrates.

18891902-mmmain

MISSISSIPPI FLAG ORDERED OUT OF PARK NEAR STATUE OF LIBERTY

By MIKE CATALINI
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered that the Mississippi flag, which carries a Confederate emblem, be replaced by the American flag at a state park that overlooks the Statue of Liberty.

Murphy ordered the removal of Mississippi’s flag from a display of each state’s flag at Liberty State Park, a preserve of more than 1,200 acres in Jersey City that overlooks Ellis Island and Lady Liberty.

 

On Friday, April 26, 2019, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the Mississippi flag removed from a display of each state’s flag at Liberty State Park and replaced by the American flag because it has a Confederate emblem on it. Liberty State Park is on the Hudson River and overlooks the Statue of Liberty.

Murphy is a first-term Democrat and a self-styled progressive who regularly cited the Emma Lazarus poem at the statue’s base that invites immigrants to America.

New Jersey, he said, is rooted in diversity, and the flag doesn’t fit.

“The Confederate symbol displayed on the Mississippi state flag is reprehensible and does not reflect our values of inclusivity and equality,” he said in a statement.

The Mississippi flag includes the Confederate battle emblem in the upper left corner. The emblem has a red field topped by a blue X, dotted with 13 white stars. It has appeared on Mississippi’s flag since 1894.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, said in a statement: “I’m disappointed in Gov. Murphy’s actions. As I have repeatedly said, the voters of Mississippi should decide what the state flag is or is not.”

Confederate symbols have been widely debated across the South, particularly since June 2015, when a white supremacist killed nine black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as in 2017, when violence erupted as white nationalists held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Murphy said he made the decision after Democratic State Sen. Sandra Cunningham raised the issue with him.

 

Cunningham said in a statement that the flag symbolized “an era of hate, violence, and division.”

Mississippians who voted in a 2001 statewide election chose to keep the flag.

But several Mississippi cities and counties and all eight of the state’s public universities have stopped flying it in recent years amid criticism that the battle emblem is a racist reminder of slavery and segregation. Supporters of the flag say it represents history.

Catalini reported from Trenton, New Jersey. Associated Press writer Emily Wagster Pettus in Jackson, Mississippi, contributed to this report.

https://apnews.com/d122588876db42cd944a 570028073914

(Article courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Private Samuel A. Hughey Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #1452, Hernando, MS, Volume 42, Issue 5, May 2019 ed.)

The Eradication of Southern History in New Orleans (And the Disrespect of Biloxi)

New Orleans can remove Confederate monuments, appeals court rules

This week has been a very interesting one for the city of New Orleans, as well as for everyone who has been observing what has been taking place. Mayor Mitch Landrieu and his city council decided to attack historical monuments in the city, primarily those erected in honor of Confederate heroes. Under the cover of night, city workers dismantled the Liberty Place monument. Landrieu vows to remove three others of Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and General P.G.T. Beauregard. This is insane to me, because President Davis died in New Orleans, and General Beauregard lived there after the war. Landrieu’s reasons for removing the monuments seem to be generic at best.

Civil-war-monument1

“The removal of these statues sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of New Orleans and the nation: New Orleans celebrates our diversity, inclusion and tolerance. This is not about politics, blame or retaliation. This is not a naïve quest to solve all our problems at once. This is about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile…and most importantly……choose a better future.”

I don’t see how this displays diversity if the mayor offends historians and descendants of Confederate soldiers. On the contrary.

New-Orleans-Confedera_12152015_43_0

Landrieu has been vague about how the city received funding to remove the four statues. “We have enough funding to take down all four monuments,” is all the mayor says as an explanation. He also hasn’t said when the other three monuments will be taken down, so several pro-monument groups have been holding vigil. Apparently, the public has been restricted from giving input into this decision of eradication. The situation is very disconcerting, because it could lead to more destruction of American history in the future.

18891902-mmmain

Meanwhile, in Biloxi, the mayor has decided not to fly the Mississippi state flag because he’s afraid it could offend tourists. I find this utterly ridiculous and offensive. If someone is offended by the state flag, they will avoid the state all together. However, I don’t see anyone avoiding the state because of the flag. Apparently, Mayor Gilich even offended some of the city council members with his idea. You can contact city council members to voice your opinion.

George Lawrence, Ward 1
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: glawrence@biloxi.ms.us Cell: 228-547-5811 Fax: 228-435-9715

Felix Gines, Ward 2
268 Ebony Lane, Biloxi, MS 39530
Email: fgines@biloxi.ms.us Cell: 228-547-5815

Dixie Newman, Ward 3
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: dnewman@biloxi.ms.us Web: councilwomandixienewmanward3.com Cell: 228-547-5851

Robert L. Deming III, Ward 4
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: rldeming3@biloxi.ms.us Cell: 228-547-1611

Paul A. Tisdale, Ward 5
ptisdale@biloxi.ms.us
2561 Brighton Circle, Biloxi, MS 39531
Email: ptisdale@biloxi.ms.us Web: tisdaleforbiloxi.com, Cell: 228-297-6800

Kenny Glavan, Ward 6
827 Eagle Eyrie Drive, Biloxi, MS 39532
Email: kglavan@biloxi.ms.us Phone: 228-396-1080 Cell: 228-860-6886

David Fayard, Ward 7
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: dfayard@biloxi.ms.us Office: 228-392-9046 Cell: 228-547-5816

City Council Office
Email: citycouncil@biloxi.ms.us Phone: (228) 435-6257 Fax: (228) 435-6187

Office of the Mayor
Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich
P.O. Box 429, Biloxi, MS 39533
Email: mayor@biloxi.ms.us Voice: (228) 435-6254 Fax: (228) 435-6129

What’s Wrong With Ole Miss?

USA, Mississippi State flag against sky

USA, Mississippi State flag against sky

It seems that Ole Miss has committed a serious infraction against their Code of Ethics by removing the state of Mississippi flag from university property. Here is the code as it was written two years ago:

2013 Mississippi Code
Title 37 – EDUCATION
Chapter 13 – CURRICULUM; SCHOOL YEAR AND ATTENDANCE
IN GENERAL
§ 37-13-5 –

Display of Mississippi and United States flags; course of study

Universal CitationMS Code § 37-13-5 (2013)

(1) The flag of the State of Mississippi and the flag of the United States shall be displayed in close proximity to the school building at all times during the hours of daylight when the school is in session when the weather will permit without damage to the flag. It shall be the duty of the board of trustees of the school district to provide for the flags and their display.

(2) Whenever the flag of the United States is to be flown at half-staff by order or instructions of the President or pursuant to federal law, all public schools shall lower the United States flag in accordance with the executive order or instructions or federal law. The school shall announce the reason that the flag is being flown at half-staff to all students in assembly or by teachers in the various classrooms or by prominently displaying written notice throughout the school stating the reason that the flag has been lowered.

(3) In all public schools there shall be given a course of study concerning the flag of the United States and the flag of the State of Mississippi. The course of study shall include the history of each flag and what they represent and the proper respect therefor. There also shall be taught in the public schools the duties and obligations of citizenship, patriotism, Americanism and respect for and obedience to law.

Although there might have been minor changes made, the code is basically the same.

(Thanks to The Southern Comfort, Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452, Sons of Confederates newsletter, volume 39, issue 11, November 2015.)

The Banning Continues

Harley

The latest company to jump of the censorship bandwagon is Harley-Davidson. In a statement released yesterday, the company has officially banned its dealers from selling t-shirts with the Confederate battle flag on them.

“It’s been our longstanding approach that the Confederate flag may not be used by the company, its licensees or its dealers in connection with the Harley-Davidson trademark or logo, on any products, signs or other materials,” the statement reads. “We have, over time, made a very few, short-term exceptions in which the Confederate flag appeared in a design with the Harley-Davidson brand. These exceptions were primarily in the historical context, understanding that for some of our customers and dealers, the Confederate flag represents a very rich and proud heritage. These designs were reviewed on a case- by-case basis (for example, there was a small group of designs approved to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and were primarily available at dealerships near battleground sites).

“In light of recent events and the evolving cultural discussion surrounding what the Confederate flag represents, we, like many other companies, have taken a very close look at how our brand has been used in conjunction with the Confederate flag…and will no longer consider limited exceptions to this approach. We believe this is consistent with Harley-Davidson’s role in welcoming people from all walks of life into our family of riders and fostering the common bond our brand represents in uniting riders of diverse backgrounds and experiences.”

Some dealers are upset about this recent action. In Union City, Tennessee, Russell Abernathy, who owns Abernathy’s Harley-Davidson dealership, posted on Facebook, and his comments quickly went viral.

“As of today, we have been informed Harley-Davidson will no longer let any Harley Davidson Dealership sell any T-shirts with the Confederate Battle Flag on the back. This is truly a sad day in the History of the United States. Pray for the future of this country, as it needs help now. God Bless America!!!!!!!!!!”

In 1977, Harley-Davidson released a Confederate Special Edition model with the battle flag painted on the gas tank. Those were the good ole days!

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