CHARLIE MITCHELL: ‘Keep the flag’ sentiment rests on shaky foundations
Analysis of the 2001 results did show 95 percent of African-American Mississippians who voted supported changing the flag and 90 percent of white Mississippians favored the current flag, adopted in 1894, but the racial divide doesn’t tell the whole story – at least not quite.
Take one Delta county, Sunflower, which is 73 percent African-American. The vote there was 3,504 for a new flag. Fast forward to second campaign of Barack Obama. The vote was 8,200 to re-elect the president. The analysis is easy: Most African-American Mississippians don’t like the flag, but it’s wrong to blame them for kindling the matter when it was a bunch of white businessmen.
Premise 2: History is misunderstood by those seeking change.
Actually, selected facts give traction to both sides, so there’s nothing really to flesh out. Consider this for context: When people heard “Apple,” in the 1970s, the resulting mental link was to the Beatles’ record label. Say “Apple” today and it’s a computer. Whatever the Cross of St. Andrew or the Southern Cross meant in days of yore, it doesn’t mean that today.