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Mississippi Library Association releases statement on state flag

The Mississippi Library Association Board released a statement asking state legislators to vote to change the state flag.

In their statement, they asked that all of their association members to voice their support for removing the flag and replace it with one that represents all Mississippians.

“As a taxpayer-funded institution, First Regional Library System does not take positions on any pending legislation,” Meredith Wickham, the director of First Regional Library System, said.

Mississippi Libraries provide services to a diverse mix of patrons who range from students to community members, attorneys and doctors to the homeless and unemployed, toddlers to the elderly and many more. They are committed to these patrons no matter who they are, where they come from or what they believe in, Wickham said. 

“As required by law, our library buildings and grounds are each the public property of the various counties and municipalities which support them,” Wickham said. “So, the flags on those properties are flown according to the wishes of the property owner. The state flags flown on the Lafayette County property have repeatedly disappeared overnight in recent weeks.”

According to their statement, the association is united in its mission of enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all.

“The current Mississippi flag, adopted by the Legislature in 1894 and voted on by the people nearly 20 years ago, does not unite and represent all of our patrons today,” the Mississippi Library Association said in their statement. “The flag, its history and symbolism represent a time when racism prevailed and when learning and access to information was not available to all. As such, it should be taken down in favor of a more inclusive flag that will truly represent the diverse patrons that we serve.”

The Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library is located at 401 Bramlett Blvd. While the physical location is still closed to patrons due to COVID-19, curbside services and books by mail are available, as well as virtual programming. For more information, visit https://firstregional.org.