History in the Making: State flag comes down along the Coast

History in the Making: State flag comes down along the Coast
Long Beach Fire Department took down the state flag Tuesday shortly after Gov. Reeves signed the bill retiring the flag. (Source: WLOX)

LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - The fall of the flag elicited plenty of emotion from across the state but many on the Gulf Coast are hopeful the change will bring the people of Mississippi closer together.

Flying as the symbol of the state since 1894, the Mississippi flag flew for the final time in an official capacity Tuesday. While many viewed it as a symbol of the Magnolia State, some viewed it as a painful reminder of the state’s racist past.

“We can move forward, even though there is a lot of different opinions about the symbol and what it means in my culture to black people. But I think it is a symbol of separation and hurt,” said Boys and Girls Club Member Carlos Bell.

It is a symbol that lifelong Mississippi resident Audrey Duncan is glad to see go.

“It means the world to me. We have been so oppressed for so long. To have the flag come down because the symbols it represents for us being under suppression, now that it is gone I think it makes us more free and opens up a lot of doors for us,” said Duncan. “My mother marched in the Civil Rights movement back in the 60s, and I can see now that the things she fought for wasn’t in vain.”

Just moments after Gov. Reeves signed the bill to retire the state flag on Tuesday evening, flags were pulled down by officials. It was a historic moment that Mississippians will remember forever.

“It was a moment that I never thought I would see this day,” said Coast resident Guy Plaisance. “I grew up here, lived on the Coast since I was nine years old... and never imagined this would be happening."

While Guy was sad to see the flag be taken down, he is hopeful that this brings the state and country closer together.

“As sad as it is, it is probably the right thing to do,” said Plaisance.

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