Bogus church sign slams mayor, baffles residents

Published 1:40 am Saturday, October 10, 2015


Someone apparently decided to try a high authority to express their anger over the feud between Mayor George Flaggs Jr. and Fire Chief Charles Atkins by printing a message on a bogus church sign, posting it on social media and fooling a number of Vicksburg residents, including local media, in the process.

The sign, which supposedly belonged to “Mt. Zion Pentecostal Church,” bore the message, “Hell is hot, Mr. Flaggs. Hope you don’t need a firefighter down there.” Its appearance on social media shocked and surprised local residents who saw a photo of the sign as they scrolled through their Facebook pages and wondered where in town “Mt. Zion” was.

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The sign was also displayed on radio station WVBG 1490’s website but was pulled Friday.

WVBG owner Mark Jones said his news director got the sign off social media and posted it on the station’s website as an example of the effect of the controversy on the community.

“He said he got the sign from social media and was sorry the sign was a fake, and not a real sign. I told him to take it down, (because) I don’t want that kind of stuff on there,” Jones said.

A search of the Internet indicated the church sign is one of a selection of 17 church signs offered by a website called “,” which allows people to select a sign or one of an inventory of items, on which to put a message and post it wherever they wish. An attempt to contact through its email address was unsuccessful.

Real or not, the sign elicited a comment from Flaggs at Friday morning’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Flaggs said he was also fooled for a while.

“Whoever posted that church sign, it backfired,” he said. “It’s a fake sign. I would hate to think some church was telling me where I’m going after I leave this earth,” he said.


About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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