Seeds: In 1894, after the Reconstruction, the current Mississippi flag was created. The design chosen was reminiscent of the Confederate emblem, which the state said was in order to honor the Confederate war veterans who fought for the Southern secession. The state flag has become a serious point of contention both within and outside of the state, leading to broader discussions about race relations in the deep south.
Core: Mississippi governor Phil Bryant declared April Confederate Heritage Month in Mississippi. This statement was made on a The Sons of Confederate Veterans website, just a few days before the decision was made to keep the Mississippi state flag. The proclamation cites that it is “important for all Americans to reflect upon our nation's past” in order "to gain insight from our mistakes and successes," and that we need to "earnestly strive to understand and appreciate our heritage and our opportunities which lie before us."
Skin: The Confederate flag as well as the Mississippi flag have garnered major attention for the past few years because many argue that they are essentially mementos of slavery. Others argue that they are symbolic of southern heritage. Another divisive topic in regards to “celebrating southern heritage” is that Mississippi, along with Arkansas and Alabama, celebrate famous Confederate general Robert E. Lee's birthday on the same day as the national celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.
Leaves: Voters in Mississippi decided to keep the state flag for now, but the national battle against the Confederate flag, in general, is not going away anytime soon.
Food For Thought: What do you think about Confederate Heritage month? What about the Confederate Flag? What about the celebration of Robert E. Lee's birthday?