In a letter sent to Mississippi legislators, almost 40 former student body presidents of public Mississippi institutions signed to urge legislation to remove and replace Mississippi’s current stage flag.
Mississippi’s current flag features a Confederate flag emblem in the top left.
JoJo Dodd, Mississippi State’s student body president from 2015-2016, released the letter on Twitter on Monday, and said that the former presidents signed to join the current sitting presidents to advocate for the change. Out of the 39 signatures, nine are past UM or University of Mississippi Medical Center presidents.
“Rather than bear the scars of past sins, our flag should reflect that Mississippi’s best days are ahead,” the letter said. “And those better days can only become a reality through understanding our shared values and working together to better our schools, our communities, and ultimately — our state.”
The letter also said that the removal of the Confederate symbol is an investment in the future of Mississippi. Last week, the SEC released a statement saying they will not host championships in the state until the flag is changed.
“Our state’s unwillingness to embrace a future that all Mississippians can be proud of hinders our economy and professional opportunities in the state,” the letter said. “Most importantly, a state rich in diversity, having one of the largest populations of African-Americans in the country, deserves a flag that celebrates such diversity.”