JACKSON, Miss. (WLOX) - On Thursday, Sports Illustrated reported that Mississippi State and Ole Miss were teaming up, as unusual as that sounds. New head coaches, Mike Leach and Lane Kiffin, traveled to the Mississippi Legislature Thursday in a push to change the state flag - and they had plenty of backup.
More than 50 coaches and athletic directors from the state's eight public universities were in attendance today in Jackson to lobby lawmakers into changing the state flag.
With the flag still donning the Confederate symbol and being the only one left in the country, athletic programs such as the “Mississippi Big 3″ could see financial consequences. The NCAA, SEC, & Conference USA have stated they will no longer hold championship events in the state until it is changed.
It could also hurt programs in recruitment, but more importantly, they want everyone to come together as one.
“I mean why do you have a state flag? To unify and excite the citizens of the state to be a point of pride that brings everybody together,” Mississippi State football coach, Mike Leach said. “Right now our flag doesn’t do that and we need one that does.”
“I’ve known him for a long time, talked to him on the phone yesterday about coming here,” Ole Miss football coach, Lane Kiffin, said. “I think it’s great for the rivalry. I think it’s great seeing people come together for one united cause, it’s very important.”
Out of the 52 members in the Senate, 36 votes are needed, or two-thirds majority, before they can suspend the rules. If that passes, they move onto the second critical vote, which is where the flag will be addressed. On that vote, they need a simple majority of only 27 votes.
The legislature is scheduled to end its session on Friday.