The Flag and Faith

Over the past few weeks I’ve written several articles about the Mississippi flag, but I have been hesitant to write this one because it has felt like one of those no-brainer arguments that is almost silly to bring up because it’s so blatantly obvious. Yet in the off-chance that I’m wrong about that, I want to make my thoughts regarding the matter clear.

I’m a follower of Jesus. I take his words and teachings seriously. I believe he is the full expression of who God is. I believe his death not only symbolizes but exemplifies the extent to which God is willing to go to both to express his love and forgiveness to humanity and to introduce them to a crazy new way of peacemaking: willful surrender.

I believe without a doubt that the Confederate Flag is a racist symbol. If you don’t believe this, perhaps you should stop reading right now and wait a week or so for the article I’m writing to make this point. But historically, it’s crystal clear: Those who have flown the Confederate Flag most proudly have stood for things like slavery, segregation, and racism.

And this is where I feel like I’m stating what is stupidly obvious: Practicing racism is about as far from the Gospel as one could possible get!

I understand that many who want keep the flag do not want to keep it because they are racists. They want to keep in because they don’t want us to “cave to political correctness.” I agree. Bowing to political correctness isn’t helpful. But that’s not why the flag should be changed. The flag should be changed because Mississippi’s symbolism should be as distant from symbols of racism as it can possibly be, and followers of Christ should be the champions of that cause.

It’s my hope that changing this symbol will not only serve as a symbol of our detachment from our racist past, but as a symbol of a brighter future for Mississippi — one in which Mississippian begins a slow and steady rise to the top — not just in measurable areas like education, health, and economics, but in immeasurable areas like unity, humility, and love for one another. And may those who follow Christ lead the way in that.