Hewes Resolutions Struck Down

Gulfport City Councilmembers went against their own attorney's advice and struck two resolutions from the agenda regarding the Confederate battleflag and the state flag. Councilmember Billy Hewes put the resolutions on the agenda. The council spent half an hour debating agenda protocol, before following Ricky Dombrowski's lead, and voting to delete both resolutions.

Billy Hewes wants the people to vote on whether to put the flags back up at the beachfront eight flags display. Last spring, the Harrison County Supervisors ordered the flags to come down after public protests. Hewes' second resolution asked for a statewide vote on whether to change the Mississippi flag, which includes the battleflag emblem.  Hewes says, "The flag issue is just like a festerin' sore and the longer it goes on out there without the people havin' an input into it, it's gonna be a very serious situation, a very volatile situation." Hewes says there are black and white people who care nothing about the battle flag. He says a public vote would determine once and for all what the majority of people think. "The flag issue's bad enough but the conflict and the strife between the races is a terrible thing. We need to have peace and love in our hearts for one another and try to get this thing together and in my opinion a vote will come as close as we get to get this thing resolved as anything."

Hewes also wanted the council to send a resoution asking the legislature to allow a public vote on whether the state flag should be changed. Dombrowski says sending resolutions doesn't guarantee there will be any action. Dombrowski says, "It's a situation that the state is tryin' to work on and resolve and it's a situation that the board is tryin' to resolve and I know where you're goin' with it but I don't know that a piece of paper or resolution that we're gonna adopt or not adopt would make any difference whatsoever."

The council voted 5 to 2 to delete Hewes's resolution asking for a vote on the eight flags display. Hewes and Kiim Savant were the two nay votes.  On Hewes' second resolution asking for a state flag public vote, the council voted 4 to 3 to delete.  The three nay votes came from Hewes, Savant and Sam Albritton.