Jason Whitfield's hair is a bit longer. And because of all the food brought out to him everyday, he's actually put on a few pounds.
He said his two week old protest against the confederate battle flag has been an unbelievable experience. "I told my mom the other day, if I had to stay out here a year, it would probably be the best blessing that I ever received." he said.
Prayer has been an important part of the 21 year old's beach vigil. He said a nightly prayer group has helped him survive 14 days of South Mississippi heat and the occasional thunderstorm. "I understand that because God has this in his hands, there will be no harm to me," said Whitfield, "unless it's his will anyway. So I pray everyday and put this in God's hands, and relax."
He relaxes by fishing with friends. He stays cool by drinking donated bottles of water and Gatorade. And once a day, Whitfield runs home, to clear his mind, and cleanse his body.
"I hated to leave at first because I said I'm not leaving unless they take the flag down," Whitfield said. "But you know, it didn't take long to realize that not taking a shower is very unhealthy, and the sand gets in places it really doesn't belong. So you have to go shower and clean yourself up and stay focused."
Whitfield's plan is to stay right where he is until Harrison County removes the flag he opposes. "I'll be here. I'm fine. I have food. I have water. I have God. And I'll sit here as long as it takes," he said.
Whitfield understands that could mean delaying his final year at Alcorn State. He said that's okay. His peaceful protest against the Rebel flag is what matters now.
A Biloxi man named John Elliss Briggs gave WLOX News a copy of a federal lawsuit he filed July 12, 2002 against Harrison County. In it, he claimed the county was violating his civil rights, by allowing the confederate flag and its St. Andrew's Cross to fly on the eight flags marker. The lawsuit contends that the first amendment prohibits that sort of religious symbol on public property.