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A flag, a flower, and football...How college football influenced a state election

The people of the state of Mississippi voted to change the state flag in yesterday's election. The state flag was the last of any in the nation that still had a confederate symbol. It had been flying since 1894.

So what do a flag, a flower and football have to do with each other?

This summer during the turmoil of COVID and the looming threat of not having a football season, the country saw a wave of activism. None were more interesting than the social uprising in Mississippi in opposition of the state flag.

Within just 3 days of each other the SEC and the NCAA said that there would be no postseason events held in the state because of the flag.

Just a few days later Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill made a splash as he took to social media to express the need for change and to announce that he would not wear a jersey representing any institution in the state of Mississippi while that flag continued to fly. Hill found immense support in his teammates and head coach Mike Leach. So much support in fact that over 40 coaches made their way to the state capitol to express not only support, but the NEED, for the state to get rid of the current flag.

In June legislators voted to remove the old flag. At the end of August the legislature voted for the new design that would be presented to the people of the state. They chose the New Magnolia Flag which ended not only on the ballot, but officially passing.

The desire to get rid of the flag was not new and hadn't been created by Hill or any other athlete, however the importance of football in the deep south played a HUGE role in giving life to the movement.

The state of Mississippi has a new flag. A flag with a large flower instead of a confederate logo. One that is said to represent forward progress and hope for the future.

Today we learned that when football speaks, people listen. Football can be so much more than just a game.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for more.