Satanic Temple threatens to sue Mississippi State over new flag
An atheist group that calls itself The Satanic Temple has threatened to sue Mississippi if it decides to add the national motto “In God We Trust” to its flag. Recently, Republican Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed a law to change the state flag with an order to remove the original Confederate battle banner, which has long formed part of the flag.
According to the approved legislation, known as House Bill 1796, the new design for the state flag cannot include the Confederate banner, but it will require “In God We Trust.”
The Randazza Legal Group, which is representing the Satanic Temple, sent a letter to Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, protesting the decision.
“Removing one divisive symbol of exclusion only to replace it with a divisive phrase of exclusion does not eliminate exclusion (…) We can imagine that there would be some Mississippians who would be a bit put off by the words ‘In Satan we Trust’ on the state flag,” claimed the letter.
Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves said in a statement released Tuesday that his group was “fully dedicated to preserving Religious Liberty, and that includes the rights of non-believers and believers of alternative faiths to live free of government coercion or sanction related to their personal religious opinions.”
“We cannot allow opportunistic politicians to insist on collapsing the wall of separation between Church and State as a consolation for the removal of Confederate iconography,” he stated. “They are not being given a choice of whom they can marginalise next.”
In recent years, secularist groups have tried to have the phrase removed from public property and American currency, only to fail on multiple occasions in the court system.