Alcorn County, MS town told to take down its Christian Flag

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ALCORN COUNTY, Miss. -- A small town in Alcorn County, Mississippi is in an uproar after being told to remove a Christian flag flying over a Veteran's Memorial Garden.

"I've got a church on every corner," said Rienzi Mayor Walter Williams.

Williams said his town with a population of 320 is in the buckle of the Bible Belt.

It's why he saw no problem flying a Christian flag over the town's memorial for veterans.

The memorial opened last August using federal and state funds.

In the middle of it, three flag poles stand tall. The pole on the left is where the Christian flag waved until last week.

"I just hate that we had to go through this," said Williams.

Someone in the town complained at a town hall meeting last fall, and eventually the group Freedom From Religion Foundation got involved.

It's a non-profit out of Wisconsin whose mission is to keep church and state separate.

The foundation's attorney sent a letter to the mayor demanding he remove the flag.

That same attorney, Sam Grover, told WREG on the phone they'd easily win a battle in court if it came to it.

"The issue here is that the Christian flag is not something the government can endorse," said Grover.

The letter mentioned another town in North Carolina that settled a lawsuit over a Christian flag it refused to take down.

The town paid $500,000 in legal fees.

Mayor Williams said his town can't afford that.

"I can't take a chance to go up against these guys and bankrupt the town," he said.

He's packed up his flag for now praying something can be worked out.

"We are a small town, and my job is to look out for the town and my constituents," he said.

Williams called a special meeting Thursday morning to figure out the town's next move.

He's also waiting to hear back from an attorney in Jackson, Mississippi.

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