What's next? Will Biloxi fly the state flag again? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

  • Do you agree or disagree with the Biloxi mayor's decision to remove the Mississippi state flag from all city buildings?

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What's next? Will Biloxi fly the state flag again?

Before the meeting started, about a dozen state flag supporters gathered outside Biloxi City Hall say they're unhappy with the mayor's decision to remove the state flag from city buildings. (Photo source: WLOX) Before the meeting started, about a dozen state flag supporters gathered outside Biloxi City Hall say they're unhappy with the mayor's decision to remove the state flag from city buildings. (Photo source: WLOX)
Their frustration is with Mayor Gilich and his decision to remove the flag from city buildings.  (Photo source: WLOX) Their frustration is with Mayor Gilich and his decision to remove the flag from city buildings. (Photo source: WLOX)
Mayor Gilich listened to the citizens comments intently and offered his thoughts following the meeting. (Photo source: WLOX) Mayor Gilich listened to the citizens comments intently and offered his thoughts following the meeting. (Photo source: WLOX)
Councilman Robert Deming said he's working on drafting an ordinance to return the flag to all Biloxi facilities, which he'll present to the council May 9, 2017. (Photo source: WLOX) Councilman Robert Deming said he's working on drafting an ordinance to return the flag to all Biloxi facilities, which he'll present to the council May 9, 2017. (Photo source: WLOX)
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The state flag may have been absent from the flag pole, but it was present with supporters who rallied outside Biloxi City Hall Tuesday.

"If the governor said we're keeping it, what gives him the right to pull it down and take it away from the citizens that are proud of their heritage," said Carol Mize.

Their frustration is with Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich and his decision to remove the flag from city buildings. 

"It's a slap in the face to the taxpayers in Mississippi to take the state funding and refuse to fly the state flag," said Matt Reardon.

DeBorah Simpson took part in the rally. She knows as an African-American who supports the flag, she's in the minority.

"The history for myself is my ancestors who survived, thrived, so that I could have and that is worth so much to me that I can't see any reason to take it down," said Simpson.

The group made their way inside city hall for the council meeting. Mayor Gilich took time to apologize to council members for not making them aware of his decision and they were vocal about how they felt. 

"If the people voted for a flag then elected officials would respect that and fly the flag people chose," said Councilman Robert Deming. 

Deming said he's working on drafting an ordinance to return the flag to all Biloxi facilities, which he'll present to the council May 9, 2017. 

Councilman Kenny Glavan said he'll work with anyone to change the flag's design, but believes the state flag should be flown. Councilwoman Dixie Newman also backed flying the flag, referencing a referendum by Mississippi voters in 2001.

A couple of council members agreed with the mayor's decision.

"I think under the circumstances it's best for the city, in the long run, to put this issue behind us and move forward," said Councilman Paul Tisdale. 

"I stand and applaud our mayor for bringing Biloxi together," said Councilman Felix Gines.

Councilman David Fayard was absent from the meeting, but told WLOX News Now he favors flying the state flag. Councilman George Lawrence didn't take a stand on the issue.

Mayor Gilich listened to the citizens' comments intently and offered his thoughts following the meeting.

"There were some points well made today on both sides of the issue and again, in my heart is only what's best for Biloxi," said Gilich.

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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