JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The battle to remove the Mississippi state flag has heated up again across the coast. An effort to remove the flag was brought before Jackson County leaders Monday morning, the first day of Black History Month.
No matter what your take is, there's no doubting the issue of the Mississippi state flag has become extremely divisive.
"We are one and we should be acting like one," said Charles Moore in support of removing the flag.
Many people are very passionate about the flag, whether for it or against it. Now, a re-energized effort to remove the flag is taking hold in Jackson County.
"It's strictly history, so why take away people's history?" asked flag supporter Bob Davenport.
Those against the flag say the history it represents is a history of slavery and white supremacy.
"We feel that Mississippi needs to have a flag that represents all of us in an honorable way," said Lea Campbell.
Campbell is part of a coalition to redesign the flag. She said the feeling in the African American community is overwhelmingly negative when it comes to the current flag design.
"It hurts them that their state contains the emblem of hate," said Campbell.
According to Davenport, that feeling is ludicrous.
"No emblem caused the violence. People cause violence," said Davenport.
That's not what Bob Smith thinks. He said although the flag represents history, it's not the history we should be proud of.
"It's like being a traitor. It's the same thing as if you flew the swastika of Germany or the rising sun of Japan," said Smith.
The way Irby Tillman sees it, the flag bears a Christian symbol, and shouldn't offend anyone.
"It's the Saint Andrews cross. If people would study about it, that's how the flag come about," said Tillman.
But that's not how Curley Clark, president of the Jackson County chapter of the NAACP, sees it. And he said he's doing everything in his power to make his message heard. That includes requesting that the Jackson County Board of Supervisors remove the state flag until a new one can be designed.
"It's our way of taking action to send a message to the governor and the legislators that it's time to get serious about changing our state flag," said Clark.
Clark believes it's only a matter of time before a flag is designed that represents all Mississippians as one. Until then, he said there's no place for the state flag on county property.
Board President Melton Harris expressed his support of Clark's efforts, while Supervisor Ken Taylor acknowledged that Clark brought up an important issue. The Jackson County Board of Supervisors passed a motion to take the issue under advisement then discuss it again on March 7th.