Southern Baptists urge Christians to stop displaying the Confederate flag

FILE - In this July 19, 2011 file photo, Confederate battle flags fly in Mountain Creek, Ala. The House has voted to ban the display of the Confederate flag on flagpoles at Veterans Administration cemeteries. The 265-159 vote would block descendants and others seeking to commemorate veterans of the Confederate States of America from flying the Confederate Battle Flag over mass graves, even on days that flag displays are permitted. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)
photo This Dec. 7, 2011 file photo shows the headquarters of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tenn. The Southern Baptists lost more than 200,000 members in 2015. It's the ninth straight year of decline for the nation's largest Protestant denomination, which also saw baptisms drop by more than 10,000 in 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

photo Robert Hicks, 9, of Flat Rock, Ala., carries a flag with other Confederate reenactors after last year's Siege at Bridgeport Civil War reenactment.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday urged Christians to stop displaying the Confederate battle flag, recognizing that it is perceived by many as a "symbol of hatred, bigotry and racism" that offends millions of people.