Ballot Petition Aims to Protect Confederate Heritage

Adam Ganucheau, Clarion-Ledger, November 5, 2014

A Mississippi heritage group has launched a proposed ballot measure which would amend the state’s constitution to recognize Christianity as the official religion of the state and English as the official language of the state.

The 12-part measure would also establish “Confederate Heritage Month,” which would provide a curriculum base for school children to learn about “Mississippi’s Confederate history, heritage, achievements, and prominent people,” the initiative reads.

The initiative has been endorsed by former Miss America and Mississippian Susan Akin, Mississippi author Julie Hawkins and former state Rep. Mark DuVall, who tried and failed to pass legislation while he was in office in 2011 that would have allowed the restoration of Colonel Reb as Ole Miss’ mascot.

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Additional proposed changes under the initiative include flying the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of the Mississippi state capitol, mandating that the Mississippi state flag pledge of allegiance be recited after the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, and the mandatory broadcast of the song “Dixie” immediately following the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” in public venues.

It also includes multiple provisions regarding the state’s universities. State universities Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi University for Women and Mississippi Valley State University would not be permitted to merge or consolidate. If passed, the University of Mississippi’s on-field mascot would once again become “Colonel Reb” and the song “Dixie” would be played by the university. The initiative would also secure the existing mascots and traditions of Mississippi State University and University of Southern Mississippi.

For the initiative to make the 2016 ballot, 107,216 Mississippi residents have to sign the petition by October 2015. {snip}

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