Home Christian News Mississippi Baptists: Confederate Flag is ‘relic of racism’, Call for Change

Mississippi Baptists: Confederate Flag is ‘relic of racism’, Call for Change

Futral also said Mississippi has been negatively impacted by the Confederate flag. “Every way you can look at it, our state has been impacted and affected. Economically… socially… governmentally… athletically… and morally and spiritually it has impacted our state.” Futral believes the state legislature can find a way to “write a new day” by adopting a new flag.

Mississippi State Flag at the State Legislature

Mississippi voted on taking the Confederate symbol off the state flag in 2001, but the proposition failed to garner enough support from voters (64 percent were against changing the flag). State representatives and Governor Tate Reeves are hesitant to make a top-down decision. Reeves has said the decision should be given to the general population via another statewide election. 

However, other state leaders are ready to see the symbol go. Members of the Legislative Black Caucus, including Rep. Robert Johnson, are pushing for a vote in the state legislature before the current session comes to close on Friday. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Sen. Angela Turner-Ford said “The emotional distress that the current flag perpetuates on people of color extends throughout the United States, casting us and having people to claim we are backwater and retrograde. We need a new brand, we need a new symbol.”

In 2016 at an annual meeting, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution encouraging members of the SBC to discontinue the use of the Confederate flag. At the time, Russell Moore, the president of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC), said that the cross and the Confederate flag could not coexist: “the Cross and the Confederate flag cannot co-exist without one setting the other on fire. Today, messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, including many white Anglo southerners, decided the cross was more important than the flag,” Moore wrote in a 2016 blog post.

The Mississippi Baptist Convention represents almost 600,000 people belonging to approximately 2,100 congregations. Parker said that while each Southern Baptist congregation is autonomous, he believes that the convention’s statement on the flag represents the majority of those congregations. Considering the entire population of Mississippi is around 3 million, their members represent a significant percentage of the state’s population. 

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Megan Briggs is a writer and editor for churchleaders.com. Her experience in ministry, an extensive amount of which was garnered overseas, gives her a unique perspective on the global church. She has the longsuffering and altruistic nature of foreign friends and missionaries to humbly thank for this experience. Megan is passionate about seeking and proclaiming the truth. When she’s not writing, Megan likes to explore God’s magnificent creation.