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Flag controversy far from resolved

The voters have spoken on the Mississippi flag, but the state isfar from closure on the issue. Anyone who thinks the issue is overis not living in reality.

While the 1894 flag is now the official flag for the state ofMississippi, the vote on Tuesday was nothing more than the firstbattle in a long war — a war that will continue to tarnish theimage of this state for years to come.

Across the country, newspaper readers and television viewers hadtheir eyes on Mississippi. Seven of the nation’s largest newspapers– representing some 6.4 million readers — featured the Tuesdayvote on their front pages. CNN covered the vote live from the statecapitol, breaking in to programming to announce the results. Eveninternational media outlets from France and England sentrepresentatives.

One columnist from the Kansas City Star commented, “… it’salways nice to see states worry about entering the 20thcentury.”

Mississippi may have spoken on the values of heritage, but wehave given the country more fodder for comment and ridicule for thesimple reason that they need something to comment on and ridiculeso they can hide their own problems and issues.

Mississippi has no corner on the market of racism, but we get totake the blame for the rest of the nation and world when someoneneeds to point a finger.

All the saber-rattling and hate rhetoric by both sides, which iscontinuing even since Tuesday, will do nothing but feed more fuelto the fire. What we don’t need are the Rev. Jessie Jacksons,Kenneth Stokeses, Jim Gileses, Richard Barretts and otherrabble-rousers of the world using the flag issue for their ownpersonal political gain.

What this state needs is a way to find a compromise solution tothe flag, and then to spend our time on important issues thataffect the quality of life for all Mississippians.