City asked to remove state flag Featured

The Cleveland Board of Aldermen was asked at its recent city meeting to remove the state flag from all city buildings and locations.

The aldermen agreed to look into the request and take it under advisement.

“Remove the sage flag,” said resident Claude Boddie Sr. “The flag is not good for our community. As long as the flag flies on our buildings no jobs are coming here.

“It belongs in a museum,” he said.

“There is only one flag and that is the U.S. flag,” said Boddie.

“I don’t care about that flag but it is our state flag,” said Alderman Paul Janoush. “I wish the legislature would just do their job.”

Alderman Kirkham Povall said he didn’t think the board was ready to make a quick decision and he wanted to talk to other cities that had removed it to see it there was any fallout from the action.

“That is not our flag. It’s the state flag. I wish they’d change the flag,” said Alderman Gary Gainspoletti, who also mentioned that 32 percent of the city’s budget comes from the state.”

“Take that flag down,” repeated Boddie.

Alderman Maurice Smith said if the board voted right then he would vote to remove it because of “what the flag represents. It’s social conscience vs. economic.”

James Stamps said, “It’s time for the state flag with its replica of the confederate symbol to be removed. The flag needs to be removed. It does not reflect who we are today.

The flag of the state of Mississippi was first adopted by the U.S. state of Mississippi in April 1894, replacing the unofficial flag that had been adopted in 1861 when Mississippi was a Confederate state.

The flag was subsequently repealed in 1906 but remained in de facto use.

When a referendum failed for a new design in April 2001, the state legislature voted to readopt the historic design that same month.

Since Georgia adopted a new state flag in 2003, the Mississippi flag is the only U.S. state flag to include the Confederate battle flag's saltire.

The U.S. Supreme Court has given Mississippi more time to respond to a lawsuit that challenges the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag.

The court said that attorneys for Republican Gov. Phil Bryant have until Oct. 18 to respond.

Carlos Moore, an African-American attorney in Mississippi, filed suit in 2016 seeking to have the flag declared an unconstitutional relic of slavery.

A federal district judge and an appeals court ruled against Moore, but his attorneys asked the Supreme Court in June to consider the case during the term that begins in October. The court accepts a fraction of cases on appeal.

Mississippi has the last state flag featuring the Confederate battle emblem. Critics say the symbol is racist. Supporters say it represents history.

The state has used the flag since 1894, displaying its red field and tilted blue cross dotted with 13 white stars in the upper left corner. In a 2001 election voters decided to keep it, and Bryant has often said that if the flag design is to be reconsidered, it should be done in another statewide election.

Several cities and towns and all eight of the state's public universities have stopped flying the flag amid concerns that it is offensive in a state where 38 percent of the population is black. Many took action after the June 2015 massacre of nine black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, by an avowed white supremacist who posed with the Confederate battle flag in photos posted online.

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