Democrat Senator Says Confederate Flag Painting in Mississippi Capitol Must Be Replaced With Slaves
In a painting on the Mississippi Capitol rotunda dome, two white-haired generals are seen raising a Confederate flag. Bradford Blackmon, a former Football player turned Liberal Democrat Senator, wants to change that.
“The legislative body determined about three years ago, also due to public pressure, that the flag that has the Confederate emblem in it shouldn’t represent Mississippi,” Sen. Bradford Blackmon, D-Canton, told the Mississippi Free Press on Wednesday.
On Feb. 2, he introduced Senate Bill 2217, which would require the State to remove the painting and set up a commission to recommend a replacement. Blackmon said the replacement should represent all Mississippians.
Mississippi Code § 55-15-81 (2019) prohibits removing or replacing art, monuments or areas in public places that represent previous wars the U.S. was involved in, including the Civil War. S.B. 2217 would amend the code to add that only the Legislature could make an act to authorize repurposing these dedications.
Under the bill sponsored by Sen. Bradford Blackmon, a commission will comprise of two senators, two state representatives, and representatives from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the Mississippi Economic Council, and the Mississippi Arts Commission.
During public meetings, the commission would determine whether the painting should be replaced with paintings of… wait for it, slaves.
“When assessing options for an image to replace the Confederate flag in the Capitol rotunda, give serious consideration to a depiction of the slaves who contributed to the construction of the State Capitol Building,” S.B. 2217 says.
According to Blackmon, he did not notice the painting until last November or December, when the building was being renovated. When he saw the Confederate imagery, he claims he had to double-check and ask someone if they had ever noticed it before.
“I’m not trying to spark some controversy behind it,” Blackmon said. “We said that the flag with (the Confederate symbol) in there shouldn’t be a representation of the state, then I just don’t think the actual battle flag itself being raised to the top of the dome should be in there either.”
S.B. 2217 is in the Rules Committee, chaired by Sen. Dean Kirby, R-Pearl. If it passes out of committee and the Senate votes in approval, then Gov. Tate Reeves would need to sign the bill into law.
Blackmon explained in a follow-up interview with the Mississippi Free Press that he wanted to honor both the slaves who “built” the old Capitol building in the 1800s as well as the newly freed Blacks who built the current Capitol building from 1900 to 1903.
It is not 1942 anymore, guys.
Go to Source
Author: Sharika Soal