New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy ordered to have the Mississippi state flag be removed at a park near the Statue of Liberty as it prominently features the ‘Confederate battle emblem.
Murphy said in a statement: “New Jersey’s strength is rooted in our diverse communities. The Confederate symbol displayed on the Mississippi state flag is reprehensible and does not reflect our values of inclusivity and equality.”
Located near Ellis and Liberty islands, and with the Manhattan skyline in the background, the park has an area called Freedom Way that displays flags from all 50 states.
However, Mississippi’s flag will be replaced by the stars and stripes of the American flag.
Sen. Sandra Cunningham was the lawmaker who asked Gov. Murphy to have the Mississippi flag removed from the park.
She said: “The Confederate flag symbolizes an era of hate, violence, and division. I thank Gov. Murphy for his commitment to tolerance and equality and for the decision to remove this hateful symbol from Liberty State Park. Hate has no home in New Jersey.”
However, the move has angered people in Mississippi, including the state’s governor Phil Bryant who said he was ‘disappointed’ by the move.
“As I have repeatedly said, the voters of Mississippi should decide what the state flag is or is not,” Bryant said.
Mississippi’s flag is the only one in the union that features the Confederate battle emblem. It was in 2004 when Georgia’s flag was replaced with a design that got rid of the symbol.
In 2001, Mississippi voters chose to keep the symbol, which for many people, is seen as a pro-slavery emblem.
Mississippi state Sen. Kenneth Wayne Jones told BuzzFeed amid debate across the US about Confederate symbols: “The [Confederate] flag has always had such an ugly past and an ugly history. None of this is new. It’s just the mindset of the people in the South that’s changing. But I think the time is now to change our flag.”
But New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver said the symbol has no longer place in their state. “There is a difference between acknowledging history versus glorifying it.”
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