1 Flag for All Rally
People from all across the Coast rallied in Gulfport this evening to support a petition that would remove the Confederate emblem from the state flag. News 25’s Kendra Turley takes us inside tonight’s rally at the Good Deeds Community Center.
One flag for all: that was the mission for the dozens that rallied together at the Good Deeds Community Center in Gulfport. Gulf Coast radio station WJZD teamed up with the 1 Flag for All Mississippians Coalition to host the event, supporting a change in the Mississippi state flag. John Knight with 1 Flag for All said, “Everything about that flag is evil, especially that Confederate emblem.”
Sharon Brown started the coalition after hearing her mother’s Civil Rights stories. It was that couch conversation that encouraged Brown to head start a series of 1 Flag for All rallies throughout the state. “There’s a lot of people, back in 2001, when the vote failed, persons that are standing up and speaking out now, they were not of age to vote,” said Brown.
Rally participants had the opportunity to register to vote and sign ballot Initiative 55, the Flag for All Mississippians Act. The coalition’s state-wide goal is to gather 107, 216 signatures by the end of August. Lea Campbell with the 1 Flag for All Coalition said, “Our state is made up of about 37 percent of African-Americans. It’s just not an honorable thing to do for our state to include a symbol associated with those things.”
People across the country showcased their support of a flag change on Twitter after the Mississippi flag was spotlighted nationally during a Super Bowl 50 performance. Gulfport resident Ronnie Moody said, “When I seen that flag flying, I got up and went in the kitchen. I didn’t want to look at it anymore.”
Rally leaders aren’t proposing a specific alternative design but tell News 25 they’re pushing for one that unifies rather than divides all Mississippians. “I just believe that we need to have a flag that represents our state motto which is the hospitality state,” said Brown.
The next rally is scheduled for February 18th at the state capitol.