During his visit to SEC Media Days, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze called for a change to the Mississippi state flag, which currently features the Confederate battle flag in a prominent manner. When asked, Freeze said that Mississippi needs to "move in a new direction and change the flag."
I, along with many other Ole Miss alumni and fans, am very proud of the University for coming out so strongly on this manner. I think the recent outrage of Ole Miss fans over Dan Mullen and Sid Salter's evasive answers to questions about the flag is a bit overplayed, but it's good to see Ole Miss making such strong and necessary statements. When you think about the history of the University, ofwhich we are reminded time and time again, it's a pretty amazing thing to hear the Ole Miss head football coach say. Ole Miss has been behind the times so many times. The administration and alumni have routinely pushed against the very fibers of anything that could be marred as "progressive."
Hugh Freeze: "I strongly believe that it is time we move in a new direction and change the flag."— Hugh Kellenberger (@HKellenbergerCL) July 16, 2015
But not this administration and not this time. This time, they're taking the issue head on. Sure, it has taken a lot longer than many had hoped, but the administration in Oxford has taken the lead within the state. There are no mincing words about what Freeze, Athletic Director Ross Bjork, or Interim Chancellor Morris Stocks have said about the issue.
Chancellor Stocks said, in response to a question about the flag, "The University of Mississippi community came to the realization years ago that the Confederate battle flag did not represent many of our core values such as civility and respect for others. Since that time, we have become a stronger and better university. We join other leaders in our state who are calling for a change in the state flag."
The Clarion Ledger's Hugh Kellenberger wrote yesterday about the evasive answers of Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen and Sid Salter, Chief Communications Officer of MSU. As I mentioned earlier, I do think that Ole Miss fans are going a little overboard about the answers they gave. It's not as if they said something supportive of the flag. They just didn't answer the question and appeared to be trying to avoid pissing off the Mississippians who don't support removing the battle flag.
And you know what? They're allowed to do that. I'm just glad that the university I attended took a firmer stance.