The SEC wants Mississippi to change its state flag as soon as possible or face the possibility of not having any future title games in the state.
On Thursday, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey made it clear that “it is past time” government officials pull the plug on a flag that features prominent ties to the Confederacy.
“Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all,” Sankey said.
“In the event there is no change, there will be consideration of precluding Southeastern Conference championship events from being conducted in the State of Mississippi until the flag is changed.”
This comes amid social unrest and sweeping changes to eradicate any racist symbols, statues, or rules in an effort to catch up with the majority of society.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State University have since released statements in support of Sankey’s message.
“Since 2015, our Student Association, Robert Holland Faculty Senate and university administration have been firmly on record in support of changing the state flag,” Miss. St. President Mark E. Keenum said.
“I have reiterated that view to our state’s leaders on multiple occasions, including during face-to-face discussions in recent days and hours.”
Added Ole Miss leadership, “Mississippi needs a flag that represents the qualities about our state that unite us, not those that still divide us.”
The state has been under pressure to change the flag for years, but the demands have ramped up in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.