Hundreds rally against Confederate sign on Mississippi flag

2015-10-12 07:28
People march to a change-the-flag rally in Jackson, Mississippi. (Joe Ellis, AP)

People march to a change-the-flag rally in Jackson, Mississippi. (Joe Ellis, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jackson - Civil-rights leader Myrlie Evers-Williams, Mississippi-born rapper David Banner and a prominent South Carolina lawmaker are calling on Mississippi to remove the Confederate battle emblem of the pro-slavery South during the US Civil War from its state flag.

About 400 people took part in a change-the-flag rally on Sunday outside the Mississippi Capitol. No alternative design was proposed.

Three men holding large flags with various Confederate emblems watched the rally from a distance across the Capitol lawn.

Critics say the Mississippi flag is a divisive reminder of slavery and segregation and doesn't represent a state where 38% of the 2.9 million residents are black. Supporters say they see the Confederate emblem as a symbol of history and heritage.

The emblem - a blue X with 13 white stars, over a red field - has been on Mississippi's flag since 1894, and voters chose to keep it in 2001. But the massacre of nine black worshippers in June at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, has renewed debate about the public display of Confederate symbols.

Police said the mass shooting in Charleston was racially motivated, and the suspect had previously posed for photos with the rebel flag.

Hurting Mississippi’s economy

South Carolina state Rep. Jenny Horne said on Sunday that Mississippi is hurting its own economy by keeping the battle emblem on the state flag.

"It is a new South. The economic development opportunities that Mississippi is missing out on — you don't even know it, but it's costing all citizens jobs," said Horne, who gave an impassioned speech in July as South Carolina lawmakers voted to remove a Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds in Columbia.

Evers-Williams was chairperson of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People from 1995 to 1998 and is the widow of Medgar Evers, the Mississippi NAACP leader who was assassinated outside their family's Jackson home in 1963.

At the rally on Sunday, she noted that Confederate General Robert E Lee had distanced himself from Confederate symbols after the South lost the Civil War.

"If a former Confederate general recognizes the divisiveness of a symbol of disunity, we must do so, also," Evers-Williams said.

Banner said Mississippi hurts itself by failing to fully recognise its troubled history, and flying a state flag with the Confederate battle emblem is an insult.

"What was the Civil War fought over?" Banner said. "Be honest. Slavery."

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.