MEC Releases Poll Showing Broad Support for Changing Mississippi’s Flag; Urges Legislative Vote this Week

A new flag with the state seal and national motto of “In God We Trust” garners 72% support of likely voters.

The Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) is releasing polling data from a recent survey showing for the first time a majority of Mississippians favor changing the state flag. In 18 months, Mississippi voters have had a historic shift in opinion on changing the state flag, from unfavorable in 2019 (54-43) to favorable (55-41) last week. The MEC says the data supports their call for the Legislature to act this week and vote to do what a majority of Mississippians think should be done – change the flag now.

The poll was performed June 16-18, 2020, by the Tarrance Group, a nationally recognized firm with extensive experience in Mississippi. The results reveal the significant change in public opinion from a year ago.

An overwhelming majority (72%) of those Mississippians polled favor a change to the state seal flag, which bears our national motto, “In God We Trust.” The state seal flag also enjoys the support of a majority of both white and black Mississippians.

“In the nearly 20 years we have held the position of changing the state flag, we have never seen voters so much in favor of change,” said Scott Waller, President of MEC. “These recent polling numbers show what people believe, and that the time has come for us to have a new flag that serves as a unifying symbol for our entire state.

“The Mississippi Legislature is poised to do the right thing this week, and we wholeheartedly support their efforts” Waller continued. “As we seek to recover from crippling economic losses from COVID-19, we must show Mississippi is open for business to everyone – and no person should feel left out. Our state flag must be the flag for all of our people, and I cannot think of a better change for our state than to include the national motto ‘In God We Trust,’ which was also recently added to our state’s seal.”

MEC also launched an “It’s Time” campaign today to lend support with the efforts to change the flag with a full-page ad placed in newspapers across the state. More than 100 business and industry leaders across the state are participating in the “It’s Time” campaign. Faith leaders also added their voices to business groups this week for the effort to have the legislature to change the flag. Joining with Catholic and Episcopal leaders, the Mississippi Baptist Association and Presbyterian leader Dr. Ligon Duncan issued strong statements of support of changing the flag.

“I trust our leadership to pass this critical legislation at this important moment for our state,” said Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony Wilson, who serves as Chairman of MEC. “They can take comfort in knowing that many Mississippians stand behind them. MEC not only represents the interests of Mississippi employers but also their employees. Our business members’ long-standing position to see the state flag changed not only reflects their desire to foster a more open business climate in our state but also reflects the overwhelming sentiment of thousands of their Mississippi employees as well.”

MEC will continue to advocate for changing the state flag and will also release a memo from the Tarrance Group further detailing the findings from this recent poll.

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