According to its mission statement, the Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the universal Salvation Army Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible, its ministry is motivated by the love of God, and its mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
The Kroc Center, of which Jon Kroc gave millions to build a facility in the middle of a majority black neighborhood in East Biloxi, flies proudly, and perhaps arrogantly, the symbol of the Confederate battle flag (situated on the Mississippi state flag). It is in the heart of this proud community that has previously weathered vast discriminatory acts.
Why? Why would this international christian organization fly this despicable symbol of an army that fought for slavery in the South and committed sedition against this great country? The Salvation Army at Lee Street and Division Street, in Biloxi, also flies the flag of the United States and its organization’s flag. But, it also chooses to offend those who find the Confederate symbol painful, reprehensible and insulting. Why?
The board of directors, whomever they may be nationally, should direct the flag be removed.
Are the grounds of the Christian Salvation Army the right place to display this symbol of hatred and bigotry? Defenders cry out that it is not such a symbol.
We strongly ask the Major to quickly pull down this atrocious symbolism.
James L. Black
Executive director, Center for Environmental and Economic Justice, Biloxi