Mississippi flag sparks debate in 1 city where it is removed

FILE PHOTO - In this Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 file photo, a state flag of Mississippi is unfurled by Sons of Confederate Veterans and other groups on the grounds of the state Capitol in Jackson, Miss., in support of keeping the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag. Mississippi attorney Carlos Moore is trying to revive his lawsuit challenging the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag. Moore filed notice Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, that he will appeal a federal judge’s decision that dismissed the suit. The Mississippi flag has had the Confederate emblem since 1894, and voters chose to keep it in a 2001 referendum. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A city on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is getting support and backlash over the mayor’s decision to stop flying the state flag because it includes the Confederate battle emblem.

Local news outlets report people packed the Biloxi City Council meeting Tuesday night to discuss the flag.

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich ordered the banner removed from display at city buildings in April, saying he wants tourists to feel welcome.

State law does not require local governments to fly the flag. Several cities and counties, and all eight public universities, have furled it – part of the broad debate about the public display of Confederate symbols in the South.

Biloxi councilman Robert Deming III proposes an ordinance requiring the flag to fly at city buildings. The council could consider it later this month.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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