Apparently sometimes you can be fired for doing the right thing.
According to the Clarion Ledger, a Black capitol police officer was fired after exchanging words with a group of confederate flag wavers.
A video uploaded to Facebook by Chris Blount, a member of the Delta Flaggers, shows much of the confrontation. The unnamed police officer refused to allow the group onto the grounds of the new Civil Rights Museum in Mississippi. According to Clarion Ledger, the flaggers visited the museum so that they could take photos outside of it while waving their flags.
The officer can be heard in the video politely asking the group to step off of the sidewalk, and at one point jokingly plays with a flag waver by pretending to take his pole from him.
“That’s assault, that’s assault,” a man can be heard yelling in the video. The visibly agitated officer cracks a smile and asks, “Sir, did I put my hands on you? Thank you.”
“You hit him with that stick,” the camera-yielding man yells again, apparently referring to the flagpole which was never taken from the flagwaver.
The group can be seen in the first video with one Confederate battle flag and one Mississippi state flag fly— which both resemble each other. But in the second video, a panning of a large truck with a huge Confederate flag on the side of it, with at least 10-15 other visible attendants waving flags.
State Representative Kathy Sykes, D-Jackson confirmed the firing on Tuesday. Sykes told the publication that she believes “it was too drastic to fire him. It sends the wrong message.” She also commented that waving the Confederate flag outside of the Civil Rights museum is “almost like desecration” to Black Mississippians.
Mississippi flag controversy
Mississippi is the only state with a Confederate battle flag incorporated into in its state flag design and that doesn’t sit well with many residents.
The Mississippi state flag nor the Confederate battle flag fly outside of the Civil Rights museum or The History of Mississippi Museum. The state flag also does not fly outside of any of Mississippi’s major colleges, according to Clarion Ledger.
Political leaders in Mississippi largely disagree about the appearance of the state flag. Largely mimicking the Confederate flag, House Speaker Phillipp Gunn supports its replacement, but Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves supports keeping it.
Mississippians voted to keep the flag in 2001, by a fairly close 2-to-1 margin. Some constituents of the state are petitioning for the state flag to be added to the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, which would secure its design for years to come. The Constitution is already one loudly and vocally opposed by African-Americans, in which it was created to disenfranchise through poll taxes and literacy tests. The state flag was created four years following its implementation.
The Delta Flaggers’ stated purpose is to protest outside of state institutions that do not fly the flag.