June 26, 2020 – Today, the NAACP and the Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP renewed their calls to the Mississippi State Legislature for immediate removal of the Confederate battle symbol embedded into the heart of the Mississippi flag. Both organizations have long opposed this flag, and their urgent demand comes as corporations, religious organizations and the sports industry join in unprecedented calls for its removal.
Derrick Johnson, President & CEO, of the NAACP:
“The Mississippi State flag is patently offensive to all Americans but particularly to Black Americans. For 125 years, it has flown over the State of Mississippi as a symbol of slavery, white supremacy and racial hatred. Mississippi has the highest percentage of Black residents of any state yet flies the only flag in the nation bearing a Confederate battle emblem. This is beyond unacceptable.
As a Mississippian, I have fought for almost three decades to remove this Confederate symbol from the State flag. I served as a plaintiff in lawsuit seeking its removal and managed the campaign for the statewide referendum to change it. It is unthinkable that this brazen symbol of white supremacy continues to fly in 2020, especially at this historic moment when people of all races have joined together to combat systemic racism throughout this country. Our State leaders must recognize this flag cannot represent Mississippians for one more day.”
Rev. Robert James, President of the Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP:
“Mississippi’s state flag, bearing the emblem of the confederacy, is a constant reminder of a time when Black Mississippians were not viewed as human beings due to the ruling idea of white supremacy. Over the course of history, many Black Mississippians have fought and made sacrifices to help build a state that treats all its citizens with dignity and respect. However, our state flag remains a constant symbol of division and racial hatred.
Now, is the time for the Mississippi State Legislature to act and take down this symbol of hatred and white supremacy. Mississippi must have a state flag that embraces all of her citizens and not just a few. We must all be committed to tearing down the walls of systemic racism and injustice that divides us. Our state leaders must seize this moment and do the right thing by voting to take down the current state flag.”
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence again Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
The NAACP is a c4 organization (contributions are not tax-deductible), and we have a partner c3 organization known as NAACP Empowerment Programs (contributions are fully tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS).
NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and shares our commitment to equal rights.