Vicki Slater on Civil Rights
A: One of the main problems with the flag is that it's the vision that businesses and other states have of Mississippi because of that flag [At events where] there were flags from all 50 states and people in the stands were outraged, saying, 'Why is there a Confederate flag?" They didn't recognize that as the Mississippi state flag. They just recognized it as a Confederate flag. The flag that we have now was never made the official flag until a few years ago. It was always flown as if it was the state flag, even though it was not. So if you look at it in that way, the governor could just say I'm going to fly a flag that isn't official.
Q: Would you use your authority as governor to do that?
A: I would certainly contemplate it.
A: I've heard a lot of rhetoric from the Republicans that the gay-marriage ruling was federal overreach. It's not federal overreach for the U.S. Supreme Court to interpret the U.S. Constitution, and it's not the first time the U.S. Supreme Court has addressed the issue of marriage. Basically, what they've said is what is private to an individual is up to that individual, so I don't really see it as federal overreach at all. I don't see it as unprecedented as far as the court speaking to marriage. What the Supreme Court said in this decision was that the state should allow gay marriage, but that the religious leaders have a right not to perform the ceremony if it violates their religion. If the Mississippi Legislature passed a law that said religious leaders don't have to do this, it would be an unnecessary law, but it would be in line with the Constitution.
She commends Gov. Nikki Haley for calling for the removal of the Confederate Battle flag on the S.C. State House grounds. "We should change the flag. If the emblem is offensive to any of our Christian brothers and sisters, and it's divisive, then it needs to be changed," said Slater.