Officials in Mississippi have held a ceremony to commemorate the lowering of its old flag for the final time, which bore remnants of the Confederate flag. The scene, which took place Wednesday outside the statehouse in the capital city of Jackson, was captured on video by ABC News.
Back in June, a group of bipartisan lawmakers in Mississippi started to draft a resolution to change the state's official flag. The pressure mounted as the Mississippi Baptist Convention also called on lawmakers to change the flag. "It has become apparent that the discussion about changing the flag of Mississippi is not merely a political issue," Baptist leaders said in a statement via Mississippi Today. "The racial overtones of the flag's appearance make this discussion a moral issue. Since the principal teachings of Scripture are opposed to racism, a stand against such is a matter of biblical morality."
Mississippi officials hold ceremony as state flag bearing Confederate emblem is lowered for last time outside Capitol following historic vote amid nationwide protests.July 1, 2020
Rev. Robert Lee IV, the great-great-great-nephew of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, spoke to ABC News about the removal of Confederate monuments, including the flag, which he called a "no-brainer." Even though he said he grew up with the Confederate Flag in his bedroom and knew of his family's lineage, his perspective has changed dramatically. "I see them as idolatries. They have been created into idols of white supremacy and racism. This is a no-brainer. This is an issue of justice and of peace. [If] we want peace in our time and the ability to [have] equality... we must do that by addressing the monuments not only in stone and in bronze, but elsewhere as well."
The calls for changes have come after more than a month of civil rights protests that have been held across the country, as well as other parts of the world. They were sparked by the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, a Black man who was killed during his arrest by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25. While calling for an end to police violence, the demonstrations have forced a number of changes as companies are now re-examining some of the racist origins of their brand names and mascots.