Rep. Masterson co-authors bill to keep flag

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 4, 2001

[01/04/01] Rep. Chester Masterson, R-Vicksburg, is one of 37 legislators who has signed on as a co-author of bills to keep the state’s traditional 106-year-old flag.

“I think that if we change the flag there will just be another situation that we will be fighting over next,” the second-year lawmaker said Wednesday.

House Bill 14 would make the embattled flag and state coat-of-arms the official symbols of the State of Mississippi. A second bill, House Concurrent Resolution 9, would ask voters to amend the state Constitution to make the banner the official state flag.

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“I think the flag should be made official because it is our heritage,” Masterson said.

The laws would reverse a state Supreme Court ruling that Mississippi has no official flag because in 1906 a legal oversight resulted in the repeal of the law creating it.

They compete with the plan of Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and the 17-member Flag Commission he created for a year’s study. That panel’s work is likely to result on a statewide up or down vote on a new banner.

In signing off on the bill, Masterson joined Reps. Jeb Barbour, Yazoo City; Larry Baker, Senatobia; Les Barnett, D’Iberville; Tom Cameron, Greenville; Gary Chism, Cleveland; Jamie Creel, Biloxi; Mike Eakes, Philadelphia Jim Ellington, Jackson; Joey Fillingane, Sumrall; Mark Formby, Picayune; Tommy Horne, Meridian; Bobby Howell, Kilmichael; Roger Ishee, Gulfport; Michael Janus, Biloxi; Andrew Ketchings, Natchez; Mike Lott, Petal; Rita Martinson, Madison; Pat Montgomery, Pontotoc; Keith Montgomery, Clinton; John Moore, Brandon; O.K. Moore, Columbia; Clem Nettles, Jayess; Billy Nicholson, Union; John Read, Gautier; Eric Robinson, Quitman; Ray Rogers, Pearl; Clint Rotenberry, Mendenhall; Zachary Rushing, Tylertown; James Simpson, Long Beach; Charles Smith, Eupora; Jeffery Smith, Columbus; Greg Snowden, Meridian; Greg Ward, Ripley; Tom Weathersby, Florence; Carmen Wells-Smith, Pascagoula, and Henry Zuber, Ocean Springs.