Stop the Tupelo City Council from Requiring the State Flag Always Be Flown.
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We are proud of Tupelo and acknowledge our City Council's effective governance. But on this one issue regarding the flag, we believe the Council is egregiously wrong and is leading Tupelo in the wrong direction. In response to the mayor using an executive order to remove the state flag from the Tupelo Police Department, an all-white majority in a 4-3 vote approved an ordinance that requires the state flag to be flown on all remaining municipal properties. This ordinance means that neither the current mayor nor any other future mayor could remove the state flag for any reason.
WHEREAS, all Christian religious bodies in the state, including the Southern Baptist Convention, Catholic Diocese, MS Episcopal Diocese, United Methodist Church, and Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, have condemned either the public display of the Confederate emblem or called for the state flag to be changed;
WHEREAS, the state flag’s origins are explicitly racist, and 41.3% of Tupelo’s people are non-white;
WHEREAS, Tupelo has a tradition of forward, progressive thinking reflected in its history, such as its successful integration of public schools, and its institutions such as the CDF, Main Street Businesses, and the Daily Journal;
WHEREAS, tourism is a substantial part of the Tupelo economy and the state flag sends the message we are not the "Hospitality State" that welcomes all;
WHEREAS, the Mississippi Economic Council, Mississippi Development Authority, Mississippi Manufacturer's Association, and many other economic development organizations have publicly recognized the financial harm caused by the state flag and have called for the flag to be changed;
WHEREAS, Mississippi suffers an out-migration of millennials who routinely cite the lack of forward-thinking as one of their main reasons for leaving;
WHEREAS, it is highly unusual and suspect to bind the future authority of the office of the mayor and creates unnecessary friction in what has been a harmonious partnership between the Tupelo city council and mayor's office; and
WHEREAS, continuing to fly the state flag harms our city in many ways and benefits it in none;
NOW, THEREFORE, be it
RESOLVED, that the citizens of Tupelo urge their City Council to do the right thing, rescind this ordinance, and move forward in the spirit that has made our community #TupeloStrong.
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