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SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey calls for Mississippi to change state flag

In this April 25, 2020 photograph, a small Mississippi state flag is held by a participant during a drive-by "re-open Mississippi" protest past the Governor's Mansion, in the background, in Jackson, Miss. This current flag has in the canton portion of the banner the design of the Civil War-era Confederate battle flag, that has been the center of a long-simmering debate about its removal or replacement. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
In this April 25, 2020 photograph, a small Mississippi state flag is held by a participant during a drive-by "re-open Mississippi" protest past the Governor's Mansion, in the background, in Jackson, Miss. This current flag has in the canton portion of the banner the design of the Civil War-era Confederate battle flag, that has been the center of a long-simmering debate about its removal or replacement. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 11:02 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - In the midst of recent protests across the United States, renewed attention has been brought to Confederate references that still exist in the country. One of those references is Mississippi’s state flag, which is the only state flag that still has the Confederate symbol - a blue cross with the 13 stars - on it.

On Thursday evening, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey became the latest person to issue a call to action regarding the state flag of Mississippi.

On the Southeastern Conference’s official Twitter page, Sankey released a statement regarding the conference’s stance on the flag.

“It is past time for change to be made to the flag of the State of Mississippi,” Sankey said. “Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all.”

Sankey threatened that if change is not made to Mississippi’s flag, the state could miss out on hosting SEC championship events in the future.

“In the event that there is no change, there will be consideration of precluding Southeastern Conference championship events from being conducted in the State of Mississippi until the state flag is changed.”

According to ESPN, the last time an SEC championship event was held in the Magnolia State was when Mississippi State hosted the SEC softball tournament in Starkville.

Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen stood by Sankey’s response, saying that the state flag should bring people together instead of separate them.

Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter and chancellor Glenn Boyce issued a joint statement in response to Sankey, noting that the university stopped flying the state flag in 2015.

Conference USA commissioner Judy MacLeod also took to Twitter regarding Mississippi’s state flag. Southern Miss is the only C-USA school located in the state.

MacLeod said the conference will review its championship hosting policies “in order to ensure we provide environments that align with our continued mission to support and protect our student-athletes.”

The Golden Eagles are slated to host the 2022 C-USA baseball tournament.

Copyright 2020 WTOK. All rights reserved.

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