State Rep. Shirley waves state flag, white flag in the House

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The flag debate continues in the State of Mississippi.

Last week, one lawmaker made amendments to try to force universities to fly the state flag.

Wednesday, Representative William Shirley flew the state flag and a white flag in the House without saying a word.

Some are taking that as a surrender. Shirley added an amendment to a tax break bill for the University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State University.

It stated that the colleges could only receive the break if they flew the state flag.

All eight public universities no longer fly the flag, which bears the Confederate battle emblem.

One lawmaker who is fighting this flag amendment that would affect universities ironically supports the state flag.

“If the flag is ever going to be voted on it needs to be an up or down vote,” said Representative Jeffrey C. Smith. “Either you support the existing flag as a flag of the state of Mississippi, or you don’t. And trying to sneak in some sort of a superfluous amendment on an item that is utmost importance such as student housing which is critical, is not right.”

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