I am writing to ask that each of you contact your representative and help to put this divisive flag behind us. It doesn't serve any purpose at this point other than to divide us from the rest of the nation, and it continues to be divisive for all Mississippians.

People say that replacing the flag would lessen the memorial to our veterans. I do not agree with that opinion, and feel we have so many better options to remember those who passed before us besides an outdated and divisive flag.

For instance, Private Jonathan Plunkett, my Great-Great-Great Grandfather, fought proudly in 1st Johnston's Mississippi Infantry. He ended up becoming a prisoner of war during his service, and thankfully returned to Itawamba county and raised a family that continues through me today. That’s my heritage: my ancestor fought, lived through it, and our family continues to prosper today.

My family does not memorialize him or other Civil War veterans with the Confederate emblem, and we will never do so. We have always honored all of our war dead and living heroes with thankful prayer and moments of silence. And our government memorializes them with beautiful grave markers that state their service units. Those grave markers alone are powerful messages to recognize the sacrifice and lives of all our honored Mississippi soldiers. Not only the C.S.A. and Union soldiers from the Civil War, but all wars. That’s where our heritage and memorials should be studied and honored: in our revered cemeteries and in our genealogies.

I understand that many of you would rather vote on the flag, but that’s not good enough anymore. We can’t wait another year or two for that to happen. Our beautiful state is falling behind because we refuse to move forward. I can understand wanting to preserve heritage because my family is 8 generations strong and have lived here since this was the Mississippi Territory. But it's time to show the world that we can preserve heritage by celebrating the individual lives of our veterans while still providing a better way of life for future generations.

Brian Plunkett

Saltillo

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