ENTERTAINMENT

Hayley Williams, Faith Hill Urge Mississippi Lawmakers to Change State Flag

The musicians have joined the call for the state to remove Confederate battle emblem from the flag.

As the nation roils in debate over what to do with the dozens of statues and memorials to Confederate war figures, Paramore’s Hayley Williams has one very simple request for the legislators in her birth state: get rid of it.

The singer tweeted out a message on Thursday night imploring Mississippi lawmakers to do the right thing and vote on Friday (June 26) to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state’s flag.

“Tomorrow, legislators in my birthstate have a chance to take action with a big first step…,” Williams wrote. “So tonight, i am appealing to the Mississippi legislature to vote tomorrow (Friday, June 26) on a new flag, one that represents ALL of the citizens of MS.”

In a second message, Williams recalled noticing racial inequities from a “very young age” but not realizing then there was anything that could be done about it.

“I imagine, even a grown-up would feel intimidated/overwhelmed to do something about it in MS. yet tomorrow, there’s opportunity!” she wrote.

Williams was joined in that plea by country superstar Faith Hill, who also urged legislators to vote for “ONE NEW FLAG” to represent all of the state’s citizens.

“I am a proud MS girl and I love my home state. When I think of Mississippi, I think of my mom and dad, the church I grew up in, high school football, and where I fell in love with music,” tweeted Hill. “I understand many view the current flag as a symbol of heritage and Southern pride, but we have to realize that this flag is a direct symbol of terror for our black brothers and sisters.”

NBC News reported lawmakers appear to have enough votes in the state legislature to make the change in the last state in the nation to still fly a flag featuring a Confederate emblem. The current flag was adopted in 1894 and features red, white and blue stripes with the Confederate battle emblem in the corner. Proposals to change the flag have come up a number of times in the statehouse and have invariably failed, with a 64 percent majority of Mississippi voters choosing not to change the flag via a public referendum in 2001.

In addition to pushing to change the flag, Williams posted a series of messages about she’s speaking out about the flag issue in order to honor some of her most beloved memories from her childhood in Meridian, Mississippi, and to find some small way to return the support she got to the “young black people who I know made a significant impact on my musical journey.”

She then went on to give shout-outs to Sheena — who she recalls taught her about D’Angelo after drawing pictures of him all over her notebooks — as well as Sakara, who schooled her on OutKast by singing “aahaaa hush that fuss” during recess.

See Williams’ and Hill’s tweets below.