Harrison County

Some pray, some protest before second round of flag flap in Biloxi

In what is setting up to be another contentious Biloxi Council meeting tonight, Councilman Robert Deming III said he intends to add a resolution to the agenda requiring that the state flag fly at city buildings, while those in favor and against the flag plan to have their say.

A prayer vigil is planned at noon today outside city hall in support of unity and Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich’s decision to remove the state flag from all city buildings. The council meeting is at 6 p.m.

“Mayor Gilich has lowered the venomous Mississippi state flag across the city of Biloxi. Some racist council members are fighting him,” said Bishop James Black, one of the organizers of the prayer vigil. “Evil and racism persist because just and righteous-thinking citizens do nothing,” he said.

Black supported candidate Rodney McGilvery, who lost in a close council race in last week’s primary against Deming.

Meanwhile, the commander of the Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans posted “Stand fast Mississippians!” on social media. A rally for people who support the state flag and its stars and bars emblem took place outside city hall at the last meeting on April 25, after Gilich ordered the state flags removed. Several who opposed his action carried flags into the meeting and gave their opinions.

Gilich said after the meeting that despite the backlash, “In my humble opinion this was the right thing to do for Biloxi.”

It could be a long council meeting, since also on Tuesday’s agenda are a proposal to lease the old Beauvoir Elementary for a center and shelter for the homeless and an executive session.