Petition calls for removal of Confederate emblem on MS flag - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Petition calls for removal of Confederate emblem on MS flag

Source: WMC Action News 5 Source: WMC Action News 5
SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - Mississippi's official banner with the  Confederate battle emblem flies outside the VFW Post in Southaven. 

“That's what our state was represented for how many years?” said one resident.

Residents and officials met at the Southaven VFW to discuss an online petition to remove the confederate emblem. 

“I've been here all my life, why do I want to change my flag?” veteran Danny Christler said, 

Veteran Sonny Michael admits the emblem can be polarizing. 

”Hey, if the people in the state vote on it, the majority rules. That's the way I feel,” he said.  

The Moveon.org petition already has more than 5,000 signatures, and a top Mississippi lawmaker, Republican house speaker Phillip Gunn, says the Confederate emblem is offensive and needs to be removed from the flag.

“Heritage aside, it has too much negativity associated with it," Southaven resident Ashley Bafford said. "I don't think it would be too much of a bad idea to get rid of it.”  

The flag flies over most Mississippi government buildings. Jake McGraw, editor of Rethink Mississippi, thinks it is time for the Confederate emblem to go. 

“There are many things I love about Mississippi," McGraw added. "None of them are represented by that flag. When I see it, I see the dark side.” 

“The Confederate flag represents a lot of this hate and it makes it possible to continue to hate and teach others to hate and we won't survive it.” Madeleine Taylor, Executive director of the Memphis NAACP, said.

In 2001, Mississippi voters decided to keep the state flag with the Confederate battle emblem. 

Ole Miss graduate Jennifer Gunther hopes to get at least 100,000 signatures on the petition before delivering it to law makers and Mississippi's governor.

Copyright 2015 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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