RAYMOND, Miss. – National leaders, state leaders and many groups here in the state have called for a change to the state flag, an effort growing in intensity since the confederate flag came down in South Carolina.
While some want a more unifying design, others say changing the flag is a rejection of southern heritage.
“It’s a first time for everything, and that’s just something I’d never seen before,” Antonio Gilmer Jr. Explained.
Gilmer says he was eating breakfast when dozens of Confederate and state flags went by his house in Raymond for this year’s Rebel Rally.
Organizers say the rally is about honoring veterans and the history of Mississippi, and in this state flying it means different things to different people.
“We like to remember and recognize our ancestors who fought for the Confederacy,” said Wayne Greer, with Sons of Confederate Veterans.
“It stands for separation, because we’re one nation under God,” Tasha Bailey said. “Not a crew here a crew there, so it makes me feel divided.”
Saturday’s demonstration went from Raymond, to Vicksburg, before ending at the Old Capitol Museum.
We were in Raymond where the rally kicked off, and out of a crowd of hundreds peacefully supporting the confederate emblem, one man made some insensitive comments after one of the flags touched our camera.
“You’re all in her camera.”
“She’s with WJTV.”
“I wonder why the white folks didn’t come…well *God*expletive*, that’s what the hell it is.”
“We can’t have an organized….without one of them being here,” one confederate supporter said to another.
The vast majority of everyone who showed up peacefully expressed their concern about possibly losing what they see as southern heritage.
“We didn’t fight for slavery…we fought against oppressive taxes somewhat like we have today,” Greer said.
“It’s a lot of bad history in terms of black people,” explained Gilmer.
The organizer of today’s rally heard those insensitive comments and she apologized for what that man said.
She then emphasized that this rally was about respecting soldiers and our veterans.