Oxford Alderman remove Mississippi state flag from city property

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OXFORD, Miss. -- Oxford Alderman voted to stop flying the Mississippi state flag on city property this week.

"They've been removed from all City property this morning," Alderman Jay Hughes told WREG.

He said the unanimous vote to stop flying the flag was long overdue.

"We recognize that a divisive symbol in Oxford, on City properties, detracted from the unity and hospitality to all of our visitors and residents," he said.

Alderman voted to lower the flag for good because it contained a confederate battle emblem, often called the "stars and bars."

"Whether it's heritage or not, is simply negated by the unfortunate fact that it's taken place alongside other symbols of hate and bigotry," explained Hughes.

Other said they were glad to see Oxford's leaders take the initiative.

"Unfortunately, a lot of people in the South still feel it's their heritage and they still want it. But people like me, that come from another state, find it offensive," said Denise Harvey who moved to Mississippi from Rhode Island.

Oxford City leaders also wanted Governor Phil Bryant to change the state flag to one that in Hughes' words "represents all the people- all citizens."

WREG caught up with Governor Phil Bryant Wednesday at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Southaven and asked him about changing the state flag.

He said it would take a special session of the legislature and public opinion seems against any changes right now.

"I'm not sure the anything would pass," he said.  "So I would call the legislature, at a very large expense to the tax payers, and get nothing done. That doesn't make any sense. "

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