RIENZI, Miss.(WCBI)—Last week, a Madison, Wisconsin group wrote a letter to the mayor of a small Northeast Mississippi town, threatening a lawsuit if a Christian flag wasn’t removed from a public building.
On Saturday, the Rienzi community protested the flag’s removal.
This veterans memorial in downtown Rienzi was erected last year. The flag pole on the left hand side now flies the village’s flag. But the residents are outraged because the Christian flag was originally on that pole until an organization headquartered in Madison Wisconsin wrote a letter to the mayor saying someone complained about the flag.
“I got this letter from the Freedom from Religion Foundation. And they asked me would I remove my flag so I compiled and removed it. It wasn’t because I wanted to, but it was because I didn’t want to go no further of putting the town in jeopardy over me making a decision. They told me that a lawsuit could be filed on their behalf against me if I did not comply,”said Rienzi Mayor Walter Williams.
But the community is not taking this sitting down. Hundreds gathered at Saturday’s rally to support the mayor, many from outside of Rienzi.
“We are a Christian nation. Do you all understand that? We are a Christian nation. This is a Christian flag. This is a Christian community here. You take one down. We’re going to put several back up. I promise you that. That’s just the way we do things here in the south.
“I’m telling you folks I’m no preacher but it’s going to get worse can I get an amen? It’s going to get worse but we cannot bow down. We can’t lay down If we stand up till our death, that’s what we need to do,” said Event Organizer Kevin Nelms.
State Representative Tracy Arnold says he is very familiar with the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
“The first time I heard of this group freedom from religion was at Jackson Mississippi when I went into the Capitol Building during the Christmas season and they were protesting a Nativity Scene. Can you believe that,”said Arnold.
No one at today’s rally raised their hand when asked is there anybody here who opposes the Christian flag being flown in this community. That is why mayor Williams vows that the flag will go up again.
“And I’m hoping and praying that this time next week, you’re going to see that flag flying here,”said Williams.
Williams says he hopes to have more information on how the town intends to proceed on Wednesday.