The City Council voted 6-1 Tuesday to bring the state attorney general into the flag issue.
Councilman Robert Deming III, who’d introduced an ordinance requiring the flag be flown at city buildings, voted against tabling the vote. The other council members voted to seek an AG opinion to determine what power the council has to say whether the flag goes up or stays down.
People who support the state flag and protest Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich’s order to take it down at all city buildings assembled with flags across the street from City Hall before the meeting. They then carried the flags inside and filled the council room and sat and stood among those who applauded the mayor’s decision to remove the state flag with its Confederate emblem in one corner.
Residents on both sides of the issue told the mayor and council how they felt during the time set aside for citizen comments.
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DeBorah Simpson said not once in the weeks since she’s been protesting outside City Hall has any of the council members asked why she, a black resident, supports the state flag with its Confederate emblem.
“The people of Mississippi voted for it,” she said. “It’s the state flag.”
Former Councilman Bill Stallworth said the flag was a symbol of white supremacists, “and it continues to be a symbol of white supremacists.”
He told the council not to be swayed by the argument that it is the flag of Mississippi. “Do the right thing,” he said.