Tuesday morning, members of the Mississippi Baptist Convention joined together to call for the removal and change of the Mississippi state flag.

“It has become apparent that the discussion about changing the state flag of Mississippi is not merely a political issue. While some may see the current flag as a celebration of heritage, a significant portion of our state sees it as a relic or racism and a symbol of hatred,” said current Executive Director – Treasurer Shawn Parker. “The racial overtones of the flag’s appearance make this discussion a moral issue. Since the principal teachings of Scripture are opposed to racism, a stand against such is a matter of biblical morality.”

Parker added that due to the convention’s stance on the issue, change to the current state flag would help mitigate the hurt that it currently symbolizes.

The board consists of 100 members from churches across the state and is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Parker was joined with remarks by Ken Hester, Kenny Digby, and former Executive Director Jim Futral.

“I am convinced that if the men and women who serve us across the street [Legislature] can find a way in the next week or two weeks or six weeks, a way or path for us to deal with this…a hundred years ago from now, Jesus tarry his coming, they’ll be writing stories about them and this time and this moment of time,” said Futral. “To make a a difference in this world in a place that is called Mississippi, that will impact the entire nation as they watch what we’re doing.”

The convention is made up of just over 2,000 churches and nearly 600,000 members. Parker said that while many discussions between the board and churches have taken place and to their knowledge the majority of their members are in favor of a change, he said the board could not speak for every church and individual on the matter.