Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze and Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen were among the prominent Mississippi public figures to sign a full-page ad in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger petitioning the state to remove the Confederate Flag from Mississippi’s state flag.
An excerpt from the letter:
“It is simply not fair, or honorable, to ask black Mississippians to attend schools, compete in athletic events, work in the public sector, serve in the National Guard, and go about their normal lives with a state flag that glorifies a war fought to keep their ancestors enslaved,” the letter says. “It’s time for Mississippi to fly a flag for all its people.”
Freeze was outspoken in his hope the Mississippi state flag would remove its Confederate emblem during SEC media days last month, saying “I think it’s time that we move in a different direction.” Freeze’s comments came as South Carolina grappled with removing the Confederate flag from its state capitol building after Dylann Roof allegedly shot and killed nine members of a predominantly black church in Charleston, S.C.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier supported the removal of the Confederate flag long before it became a national topic of discussion, telling ESPN in 2007:
“If anybody were ever to ask me about that damn Confederate flag, I would say we need to get rid of it. I’ve been told not to talk about that. But if anyone were ever to ask me about it, I certainly wish we could get rid of it.”
Among the others who signed the letter in the Clarion-Ledger: Former Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning, as well as Jimmy Buffett, Morgan Freeman and John Grisham.