Under Two Flags: Symbolic Voting in the State of Mississippi
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.
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