Ole Miss removes flag with Confederate emblem

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, October 27, 2015

OXFORD, Miss. — The University of Mississippi quietly pulled down the state flag on Monday, deciding that the 121-year-old banner’s Confederate battle emblem sends a harmful message in this age of diversity.

Acting under the order of Interim Chancellor Morris Stocks, three campus police officers furled the flag before most students were awake, taking it down from a circle of honor between the white-columned administration building and a marble statue of a saluting Confederate soldier.

A group of university leaders met Sunday night and agreed to take it down, days after the student and faculty senates urged its removal from the Oxford campus, a bastion for Southern elites since its founding in 1848.

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“Because the flag remains Mississippi’s official banner, this was a hard decision. I understand the flag represents tradition and honor to some. But to others, the flag means that some members of the Ole Miss family are not welcomed or valued,” Stocks said in a statement.

The banner will be put on display in the university’s archives, Stocks told The Associated Press.

The flag had flown for years in the Lyceum circle, where deadly white riots broke out in 1962.