Colleges Removing Reminders of the Confederacy From Campus
Filed in African-American History on October 27, 2015
The University of Mississippi has taken down the official state flag that flew in Lyceum Circle on campus. The Mississippi state flag includes a Confederate battle flag in one corner.
The action was taken after the student Senate voted overwhelming to remove the flag from campus. Campus police lowered the flag and it was taken to the University Archives where it will be preserved along with the resolutions from students, faculty and staff calling for its removal.
In a statement, Morris Stocks, interim chancellor of the University of Mississippi, said that “because the flag remains Mississippi’s official banner, this was a hard decision. I understand the flag represents tradition and honor to some. But to others, the flag means that some members of the Ole Miss family are not welcomed or valued. That is why the university faculty, staff and leadership have united behind this student-led initiative.”
“Mississippi and its people are known far and wide for hospitality and a warm and welcoming culture,” Chancellor Stocks added. “But our state flag does not communicate those values. Our state needs a flag that speaks to who we are. It should represent the wonderful attributes about our state that unite us, not those that still divide us.”
In another blow to those who hold the Confederacy in high regard, Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, said that it would no longer give out the Jefferson Davis Award. The scholarship award was given to a student in constitutional law. The endowed scholarship was established in 1972 with a gift from the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The entire endowed fund used for the scholarship award is being returned to the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Clayton Rose, president of Bowdoin College, issued a statement that said that “it is inappropriate for Bowdoin College to bestow an annual award that continues to honor a man whose mission was to preserve and institutionalize slavery.”