Mississippi, Tennessee debate future of Confederate symbols

Mississippi, Tennessee debate future of Confederate symbols
Nathan Bedford Forrest
Nathan Bedford Forrest

By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS and CLAIRE GALOFARO

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi and Tennessee officials are grappling with whether to retain Old South symbols, even as South Carolina leaders are pushing to remove a Confederate battle flag that flies outside the statehouse there.

Mississippi voters decided by a 2-to-1 margin in 2001 to keep the state flag used since 1894. One of its corners has a Confederate battle emblem.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant says Monday he doesn't believe legislators will "supersede the will of the people" and change the flag. Democratic Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones, chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, says the emblem is a "symbol of hatred."

Some Tennessee officials want to remove a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol. Forrest was a Confederate general and an early Ku Klux Klan leader.

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