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State of Mississippi Flag: An Open Letter to MC Family

MC President Blake Thompson
MC President Blake Thompson

Dear MC Family,

A couple of times over the past few weeks, a student has stopped me and asked what I thought about changing the state flag. Today, I am writing to share my feelings on this issue with our MC community.

I fully support changing the flag of the state of Mississippi. I say that as a native Mississippian, as someone who lived in other states for a number of years, as the child of a Mississippi history teacher, and most importantly, as a Christian. I love my home state and am thankful to be a resident of Mississippi. But far exceeding my love of home is my love for Christ. I am blessed to be part of an institution where I can express my faith openly and live it out. It is my faith that compels me to give my life in service to others and to love my brothers and sisters. 

My motivation for changing the state flag comes from Scripture. In I Corinthians 10:23-24 we read, “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” 

In these passages, we are instructed to love one another and be devoted to each other as members of the same family. We should honor one another and consider the interests of others above our own. We should consider how to build up and encourage each other continually. This image of God’s family is what we are to portray to the world — united, loving, and devoted to one another.

Our flag is hurtful to a significant number of people in our state. It is perceived by many Mississippians as a symbol of hatred, bigotry, and racism. It does not build up. It does not honor our neighbors. It does not reflect devotion to one another. Instead, we need a symbol that represents all that’s good about Mississippi.

We have much work ahead of us in the matter of building unity. Changing the flag is one step in that process. With Scripture as our guide, we must love others more than ourselves, show kindness to our brothers and sisters, and honor God by honoring one another. We will not be fully reconciled until our Savior returns to make all things new. But until that time, may we strive for that ideal as we walk humbly, pursue justice, and love one another.        

Have courage,

Blake Thompson