H.K. Edgerton says he believes all Southerners have a common history, rights, culture and religion to celebrate, protect and defend. To make his point, he's walking 1,300 miles in Confederate uniform and boots from his North Carolina home to Austin, Texas.
"We have needed for a long time to straighten out the lie that exists around here in the southland of America," said Edgerton, as he stopped
just east of Meridian on Highway 80. "We've been family, Black folks and White folks, in the southland of America, been family in lieu of slavery. Certainly you cannot blame the institution of slavery on White folks in the southland of America, which is what the conqueror did."
Edgerton, an African-American, said the history between the North and South, as written by northern historians, is a lie.
"These are some very honorable Black folks who love their southland," said the former president of the Asheville, North Carolina, NAACP. "And it's unfortunate that the liberal media has tried to paint a picture of Black folks hating the southland of America. Right here in the great state of Mississippi, if it hadn't been for the Black folks around here, your state flag, which I'm getting ready to put on my pole and strut with right through the state of Mississippi, it would have been taken down."
Edgerton referred to a 2001 statewide vote on whether to keep the current flag or replace it with a new design. The "old" flag was favored by 65 percent of voters.
Edgerton plans to continue his trek across the Deep South Wednesday
morning, through Meridian on Highway 80 and continue at a pace of 20 miles per day. He'll carry a Mississippi flag through the state, temporarily replacing the Confederate emblem he brought with him.
The state commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Wayne McMaster, in Lauderdale County Tuesday, presented the Mississippi banner to Edgerton.