County Flag Battle Not Over

The Sons of Confederate Veterans launched a countywide petition drive last spring to force a public vote on returning all the flags to the now empty beach display. A similar campaign is underway as supporters of the Mississippi flag push for a statewide vote on keeping that flag intact. The S-C-V says whether it's the Confederate battle flag or the state flag, the people should decide. The group's president, John French, says, "Even though one is a state flag and one is a flag display on the beach, we feel that if the supervisors really had the best interest of the people at heart and not just trying to make a political statement they would offer the people of Harrison County the same option.

A citizens committee recommends tearing down the empty beach flag display and  replacing it with a monument with only the American flag flying. 17 other flags, including the confederate battle flag will be included on bronze plaques. Fundraising efforts are on hold. "I think the state issue, whatever they do with this will change in effect the entire picture as far as flags in the State of Mississippi. I think that will pretty much settle it," says Gene Warr, the citizens group chairperson.

French's group isn't waiting. Since May, the S-C-V has collected more than 14-thousand signatures. The group needs 18-thousand five hundred signatures for a county vote. "Everyone thinks that this is over and they think we suffered a tremendous defeat in this eight flags but we're still clickin' along. We're still working, we're still getting signatures everyday," says French.