Group says new flag is wrong one

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 26, 1999

Representatives from the Sons of the Confederate Veterans told the Natchez Board of Aldermen Tuesday they believe the Confederate flag now flying over the Natchez Visitor Reception Center is the wrong one.

Earlier this month, Mayor Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown used his executive privilege to switch the flag from the battle flag to the &uot;Stars and Bars&uot; – the first national flag.

But SCV member Mike Passons said the first national flag was never accepted officially by the Confederate government.

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Instead, he said the third national flag – a St. Andrew’s cross on a field of white with a red vertical stripe on the edge – is the correct version.

The first national flag &uot;was never voted as an official flag, never signed into law by Jefferson Davis,&uot; Passons said.

But Brown said he researched the flag issue for about six months and got different results.

&uot;My research shows it was the first and only official flag – the Stars and Bars,&uot; he said.

Brown said he began studying the issue when controversy arose over the Confederate flag flying over the capitol in South Carolina. The NAACP’s board of directors has since decided to boycott South Carolina tourism until the flag is removed.

A local minister also recently raised the issue of the battle flag, saying it was not the correct flag for the city to fly.

In addition to the Confederate flag, the U.S., British, French, Spanish, Mississippi and Natchez flags fly over the visitors center and stand in city council chambers behind the aldermen’s desks.

Natchez native and SCV member Robert Crook also spoke in support of the third national flag.

&uot;This is not a political agenda, not a social agenda, but to honor the young men who gave the last full measure of their lives,&uot; he said. &uot;I am absolutely offended by the Klan. If they were to march here I would be at the front of the line to protest. They denigrate the honor these men served for.&uot;

Brown said he would exchange research with the members of the SCV so that he could examine their opinion.

&uot;The significance of the flag is simply what it is. It represents the same as these other flags,&uot; Brown said, pointing to the flags behind the aldermen’s desks. &uot;It represents a form of government, no more, no less.&uot;