Country superstar Faith Hill has called on her home state of Mississippi to change its flag, tweeting out an impassioned plea against the “Rebel Battle Flag” on Thursday (June 25).
Joining public figures like former Governor Phil Bryant, football coaches, church leaders and more, plus 55 percent of the state’s population, Hill said the flag’s inclusion of the controversial Confederate symbol is indefensible. The state itself last voted to keep the flag in 2001, and now calls for the state legislature to take the issue up are intensifying.
“To the Mississippi legislature: It’s time to change the state flag,” Hill wrote. “I am a proud [Mississippi] girl and I love my home state. When I think of Mississippi, I think of my mom and dad, the church I grew up in, high school football, and where I fell in love with music.
“Now, it is time for the world to meet the Mississippi of today and not the Mississippi of 1894 (when the MS legislature voted on the current flag),” she went on. “I understand many view the current flag as a symbol of heritage and Southern pride, but we have to realize that this flag is a direct symbol of terror for our black brothers and sisters.”
Hill ended her thought by urging lawmakers to vote on the issue today (June 26), calling for “ONE NEW FLAG, one that represents ALL of the citizens of Mississippi.”
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for as far back as I can tell, the stars and bars have ridden shotgun with groups like the KKK and others that would resort to violence for the sake of keeping alive the hateful and racist notion of a southern Lost Cause and white supremacy. And as a born-and-raised Mississippian and great great great grandson of a Confederate soldier, whose letters from the war reveal his genuine revulsion for that war in which he fought, I have felt for a long time that my home state should have long since taken down her current flag in favor of a flag that can represent ALL Mississippians. The above petition makes clear the many ways in which we could all benefit from a change in the state flag. I can’t think of any group that would have more reason to want to keep the Confederate flag flying under the old “heritage not hate” argument than the descendants of Confederate veterans. The fact that this petition was drawn up by the descendants of Confederate veterans helps make it clear that there is no reason to keep this flag flying that could ever outweigh the hurt and terror that that flag triggers in so many of our fellow Mississippians’ hearts. And as a descendant of a Confederate veteran, and as someone who has the complicated honor of representing Mississippi on stages around the world, I too support this petition wholeheartedly and have requested my name be added to this list. If you have a connection to Mississippi and feel led to do so, I ask that you too would please consider supporting the movement for a new Mississippi flag. (link to the full petition in my stories)
As it turns out, Hill is not the only country singing Mississippi native making the request, as singer-songwriter Charlie Worsham has also gone public with a petition made by descendants of Confederate veterans to change the flag once and for all.
Attempts by country artists to confront racial injustice and insensitivity continue genre-wide, with acts like the former Lady Antebellum and Dixie Chicks even going so far as to officially change their names.