JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's largest religious group says state lawmakers have a moral obligation to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag because many people are "hurt and shamed" by the symbol.
The Mississippi Baptist Convention has more than 500,000 members in a state of 3 million people.
The convention said Tuesday that many see the flag as "a relic of racism and a symbol of hatred."
It joins the other influential groups, including the governing body for college athletics, that are calling for Mississippi to change its flag.
Republican Gov. Tate Reeves says flag design should only be determined by a statewide vote.