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It’s not about the flag, it’s about our freedom

I am a lifetime resident of the state of Mississippi. I have lived in Lincoln County for over 60 years.

I first voted as a Republican in the early ’70s. My first experience as a Republican voter is something I will never forget. I dropped my husband off at the Democratic voting place, and I drove up the road to the Republican voting place. It was a very nice motor home. There was no one there but an elderly gentleman.

When I walked in, he said, “Little lady, do you know where you are?” I replied, “I am here to vote.”

He informed me the Democratic pollin place was down the road. He asked, “Does your husband know where you are?” I said, “Yes,” and I guess the look on my face made him reconsider, and I voted Republican for the first time.

Fast forward to 2020.

Every other registered voter in Mississippi and I were not allowed to vote on our state flag, either to keep it or to change it. I truly believe if we would have been able to vote on the old flag or the new flag with “In God We Trust” on it, the new flag would have passed with an overwhelming majority.

The Legislature bowed down to blackmail. Sports tournaments were out, new manufacturing was out and business conferences were out. State elected officials and former officials, the economic council and the Southern Baptist Convention Board all said we have to do it for Mississippi to grow and be united.

Well, I do not feel united, not because of the flag, but for the loss of freedom.

The governor said over and over that he would veto any legislative bill that did not go to the people for a vote. He caved. Do not give me the excuse that both chambers would have overridden his veto.

So now we have nine people selected by these same officials to present to us a new flag to either vote for or against it in November. The only redeeming grace is that it has to have “In God We Trust” on it.

I will vote for the flag, but I would like to be able to read it from the ground with my naked eye.

What about the next time when we are told our flag is offensive?

It will come, but I pray we will have leaders with courage and backbone to stand up for freedom.

I am waiting for Linbrook to be completely full with good paying jobs for Lincoln and surrounding counties. After all, the flag is gone so what other excuse is there? It is out with the old and in with the new. Change is good, right? How about The New American Peoples’ Party. That sounds good to me.

It is all about freedom.

Bettie Smith

Brookhaven