New Mississippi bill would strip accreditation from schools that don't fly state's Confederate-themed flag
Mississippi state flag flying in front of capitol building in Jackson (Shutterstock)

A proposed law in the Mississippi state legislature would strip accreditation from any school in the state that refuses to fly the state's flag, which includes the Confederate stars-and-bars in its upper-left-hand corner.

The Mississippi Business Journal reports that the bill, which is working its way through the Mississippi House of Representatives, is a broad initiative to get state schools to comply with all rules and regulations, including one that mandates all K-12 schools fly the state flag.

Schools in majority black neighborhoods -- including the Jackson school system, which is the second-largest in the state -- have often flaunted this particular rule because they see the flag's Confederate imagery as a symbol of racism, the Business Journal notes.

Bill sponsor Mark Formby (R - Picayune) explains that while the flag requirement is included in his bill, getting all schools to fly the flag isn't the legislation's primary objective. Rather, he said, it's to address complaints he regularly gets from constituents about schools not upholding state laws, including regulations on hiring and purchasing.

"This says a person could call them on the carpet if you don’t enforce the laws," he tells the Business Journal.