JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – State senator Chris McDaniel says that Mississippi’s new state flag, which was officially signed into law Monday, was “pushed down” Mississippians throats.
In a post on Facebook, McDaniel railed against the process taken to install the In God We Trust flag, saying, “Mississippi has changed its flag, but it cannot be said we moved forward together.”
The senator was a primary advocate against the resolution to retire the old state flag, which bore the Confederate battle emblem, and aided a referendum against the change.
The post continued, reading, “Indeed, it’s impossible to move forward ‘together’ when Mississippians were not allowed to choose a flag from multiple options, including the 1894 design.”
McDaniel then said that the flag was “pushed down our throats” by legislators who “didn’t trust people to decide.” He also claimed the flag’s success showcased “backroom deals” and denounced it as “another flawed process.”
The senator concluded the post by stating that “there’s nothing wrong with changing the flag, assuming the people had the final say. That’s not what happened.”
The state received pressure to retire the old Mississippi flag due to social justice protests which rocked the country over the summer. After heated debates, the legislation to retire the controversial flag, which flew for 126 years, was signed by Gov. Reeves.
An appointed flag committee was then tasked with selecting a new design for Mississippians to vote upon on November’s election.
Some in the state, though, said Mississippi voters and not their legislators deserved to be the ones who voted to keep or do away with the old state flag. McDaniel, leading that call, told WLBT in July that, “When you tell people that their voices don’t count… that’s insulting. And I think a lot of people were insulted by the legislature’s actions.”
Even so, the In God We Trust flag won majority approval by voters at the ballot box, receiving nearly 73 percent of the “yes” vote. Twenty-seven percent of voters voted “no” on the new flag.