A group of Coast residents came together in support of placing the retired state flag on the Nov. 3 ballot.

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI, Miss. (Ben Caxton) -The group was created by John Viller, also known as “Mississippi Maybeline.” Viller created the group after he felt like his right to vote was taken from him.

“I’m down for change, totally down for it, and I’m down for a new flag, but under one circumstance. We have the right to vote,” Viller said. “If we lose our flag in a vote, we lost fair and square, but for it to be taken away from us without that right to vote, that’s what stirs up our anger.”

Viller and protesters said the retired flag does not represent hate, but it represents the history of the 13 southern colonies. Another reason the group took to the streets is to show their support and respect for President Donald Trump with hopes he’ll be reelected.

“Trump, I don’t even call him a Republican- I look at him as an American,” Viller said. “He’s for the American people.”

Viller believes people can still get along with separate views and beliefs, but he wants people to understand the “why” behind the fight.

“I have ancestors that’s died under that flag,” Viller said.

On the first Saturday of each month, the protesters meet in Ocean Springs at 8 a.m. and travel as far as Pass Christian then back to their meeting location.


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