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Musician Steve Earle releases 'Mississippi It's Time' with the SPLC

The new song urges Mississippi to remove the Confederate battle flag from its state flag.

Singer-songwriter Steve Earle has partnered with the Southern Poverty Law Center to take a stand against the Confederate battle flag and is urging Mississippi to remove the emblem from its state flag with the release of his new song, “Mississippi It’s Time.”

The song is available for streaming here and for download on iTunes beginning Friday, September 11. All proceeds will go to the SPLC.

“We’re pleased that Steve Earle has added his voice to the growing number of Americans who are demanding that Mississippi and other governmental entities no longer display the Confederate flag,” said SPLC Founder Morris Dees. “This potent and divisive symbol of white supremacy has no place on the official state flag of Mississippi or in any other public spaces.” 

Mississippi’s state flag, adopted in 1894, is the only one in the country that contains a likeness of the Confederate battle flag.

“I grew up in the South and lived there until I was 50 and I know that I’m not the only Southerner who never believed for one second that the Confederate battle flag is symbolic of anything but racism in anything like a modern context,” Earle said of the song. “This is about giving those Southerners a voice.” 

Across the country, communities are re-examining government-sponsored displays of the flag and other Confederate symbols after the June 17 massacre of nine African Americans at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The accused gunman, a white supremacist, was seen with the flag in multiple photographs.

The SPLC is currently organizing a national campaign to identify and eliminate government-sanctioned displays honoring the Confederacy.

In 1993, the SPLC won a lawsuit to remove the Confederate flag that had flown over the Alabama Capitol since it was raised by segregationist Gov. George Wallace 30 years earlier in defiance of the civil rights movement.

Today, as calls mount around the country for the removal of these symbols, a backlash among Confederate flag enthusiasts has ensued. The SPLC has compiled a map of hundreds of Confederate battle flag rallies that have taken place since the June 17 attack in Charleston.  

>>>Listen to the song on SoundCloud here