Title

Under Two Flags: Symbolic Voting in the State of Mississippi

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Public Choice

Volume

118

Publication Date

2004

First Page

105

Last Page

124

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.

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