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Under Two Flags: Symbolic Voting in the State of Mississippi

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  • G–khan R. Karahan
  • William F. Shughart II

Abstract

Participants in a special election held in the State of Mississippi on April 17, 2001, voted overwhelmingly against changing the design of the state's flag, which incorporates a symbol of the Confederacy. The determinants of voting on the flag are analyzed and turnout rates in April 2001 are compared with those for recent gubernatorial and presidential elections. We find that the flag vote divided Mississippians sharply along lines of race, class and political ideology. A key empirical implication is that voter positions in issue space tend to be more polarized when political choices have expressive as opposed to instrumental consequences.

Suggested Citation

  • G–khan R. Karahan & William F. Shughart II, 2004. "Under Two Flags: Symbolic Voting in the State of Mississippi," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 118(1_2), pages 105-124, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:118:y:2004:i:1_2:p:105-124
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey Grynaviski & Michael Munger, 2014. "Did southerners favor slavery? Inferences from an analysis of prices in New Orleans, 1805–1860," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 341-361, June.
    2. Michael Reksulak & William Shughart, 2008. "Taxonomy: racism versus fiscal conservatism in voting on segregationist provisions in Alabama’s constitution," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 61-80, March.
    3. Russel Weaver & Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen, 2015. "Racially Polarized Voting in a Southern U.S. Election: How Urbanization and Residential Segregation Shape Voting Patterns," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 45(1), pages 15-34, Spring.
    4. Michael Reksulak & Gökhan Karahan & William Shughart, 2007. "Flags of our fathers: Voting on Confederate symbols in the State of Georgia," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(1), pages 83-99, April.
    5. Hillman, Arye L., 2010. "Expressive behavior in economics and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 403-418, December.
    6. Hamlin, Alan & Jennings, Colin, 2011. "Expressive Political Behaviour: Foundations, Scope and Implications," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(03), pages 645-670, July.

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