SuperTalk Mississippi
The Gallo Radio Show

Laurin Stennis talks flag change on The Gallo Show

This morning, Mississippi artist Laurin Stennis joined The Gallo Show to talk about the replacement of the current state flag, which features the Confederate battle emblem, to the “Stennis Flag.”

“There is huge momentum and excitement right now,” Stennis said. “We have an opportunity here to light a candle in the darkness.”

Stennis, a descendant of segregation leader John C. Stennis, is using the flag to not only put a stop to the oppression that takes place every day in this state but to show that her family has evolved from its Jim Crow-era ancestors.

“I think some folks when they see Stennis, they think it’s named for John C. Stennis,” Stennis said. “I would have a reservation about that too. Luckily, it is not named after him…I originally was trying to call it the ‘Declare Flag,’ and that was not catching on.”

The flag, created by Laurin in 2014, features a large blue star encircled by 19 smaller stars on a white field, flanked by red bands.

“This is year six, and I think we are at a moment where we have got a shovel-ready solution that is beautiful, positive, bipartisan [and] 100 percent grassroots,” Stennis continued. “That’s the way things should be done in Mississippi, and I think we’re ready.”

The 20 stars represent the fact that Mississippi was the twentieth state to join the Union in 1817. The encirclement of the 19 stars symbolizes the pattern often used by indigenous people in both artwork and ceremonial clothing. The red memorializes the blood shed by Mississippians, “civilian or military,” fighting for liberty and justice for all.

Through protests and online polls, the people have made their voice clear. Now, it’s up to state leaders to determine what’s next for an issue that should have been resolved by now.

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