Country singer Faith Hill is calling on the Mississippi legislature to change the state flag, which still features the Confederate emblem.
Hill, 52, is a native of Mississippi and wrote on Twitter Thursday that she believes the flag should be changed because it is “a direct symbol of terror for our black brothers and sisters.”
“To the Mississippi legislature: It’s time to change the state flag. I am a proud MS 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,” Hill tweeted.
“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 continued. “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.”
Finally, the singer urged the state to vote immediately to replace the flag.
“I urge the Mississippi legislature to vote tomorrow Friday, June 26 on ONE NEW FLAG, one that represents ALL of the citizens of Mississippi,” she tweeted.
Every few years the issue of Mississippi’s flag gains national attention, typically when race riots have broken out across the country.
The latest push to change the state flag started weeks ago when lawmakers on both sides of the aisle drafted a resolution supporting a change, Fox News reported. The outlet also noted that the NCAA has banned states whose flags or school logos contained Confederate symbols from hosting sponsored events. The move has spurred University of Mississippi football coach Lane Kiffin to explain that the Confederate symbol doesn’t represent the school or the state, adding that removing it could create a “more welcoming environment.”
The Associated Press reported that in addition to Kiffin, other university coaches and religious leaders in the state have also urged lawmakers to change the flag. Nikki McCray-Penson, the new Mississippi State University women’s basketball coach, was one such voice.
“We can’t be an elite program without hosting postseason events,” she said of the NCAA’s ban.
“As a Black woman coaching at one of the most diverse universities in the country, I look forward to seeing change that unites us and accurately represents our great community,” she added.
The AP also spoke to Rev. Reginald M. Buckley, the senior pastor at Jackson’s Cade Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.
“It doesn’t take courage. It takes conscience,” he said of changing the flag.
“You’ve been given the right crisis needed to do this. America has been reminded again of the infectious sin of racism and how it corrodes the human spirit and corrupts human interactions,” he told lawmakers.