JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – “Take it down” was the motto of a gathering Wednesday afternoon at the New Jerusalem Church in Jackson by religious leaders and activists. Voicing their anger towards the current state flag and those who support it.
Combining anti-racial injustice messages and Christian values pastors and other speakers did not hold back taking the podium demanding lawmakers act now to change the state flag they see as oppressive.
“They say Lebron should just dribble and shut up, Lebron is refusing to shut up and you should refuse to shut up,” Judge Carlos Moore of the Better Mississippi Society stated.
Following a Mississippi State Football starter refusing to play until the state flag comes down, Judge Carlos Moore urges others to follow.
“Athletes across this state should refuse to play another down until that flag comes down,” Judge Moore announced. “If the college students do it the high school students are going to do it. Make your voices be heard you are not just a piece of entertainment for a Friday night or a Saturday evening.”
Reflecting on the history of the confederate emblem and the beliefs of those who fought for it, pastors and county leaders see it going against what Christianity stands for.
“Our Ten Commandments says do on to others as you would have them to do onto you,” Hinds County Supervisor Vern Gavin said. “And those people who are challenging the removal of this flag I’d like to ask them does that follow those two items.”
“If you have faith, faith demands I don’t talk about it I do something about it,” Pastor Dwayne Pickett of New Jerusalem added. “If your faith it truly and biblical god faith than show the love of Jesus to people that have been disenfranchised.”
They see the best option as one where legislators act now to change the flag since it was their branch of government that put it up back in 1894. Otherwise Mississippi will fall behind from business boycotts.
“Mississippi has long been on the wrong side of history, Mississippi is currently on the wrong side of history,” Bishop Scott Volland said. “Even such institutions of NASCAR have seen the offensiveness of symbols such as the state flag and the confederate flag.”
Those who gathered also acknowledged this fight is far from over. They’re calling on all people especially the young generation to call out their legislators online and in person to act now.