The University of Mississippi, more commonly known as Ole Miss, has made a historic decision to remove the Mississippi state flag from campus because it includes the image of the Confederate battle emblem. The flag that flew over the school was taken down and furled as campus opened on Monday, according to Ole Miss’s official blog, and it was taken to the school’s archives to be preserved, “along with resolutions from students, faculty and staff calling for its removal.”
The Ole Miss student senate voted to take it down last week, a decision which was matched by groups of faculty and alumni. It’s notable only because it’s a public university removing the official flag of its own state, despite how obvious the decision seems to many observers. Last year, the school came out in public opposition to the state flag, with Interim Chancellor Morris Stocks saying this:
“The University of Mississippi community came to the realization years ago that the Confederate battle flag did not represent many of our core values, such as civility and respect for others,” Stocks said. “Since that time, we have become a stronger and better university. We join other leaders in our state who are calling for a change in the state flag.”
Of course, even though Ole Miss chucked the uncomfortable Colonel Reb for a black bear named Rebel years ago, the school’s teams still refer to themselves as the Rebels, and we all know what that refers to. It’s tough to part with the language that the thousands upon thousands of students and alumni use to refer to their beloved team, but the flag coming down is a welcome step.
(Via Ole Miss)