Biloxi council chamber packed for state flag debate - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi council chamber packed for state flag debate

Biloxi's city council chamber was filled Tuesday night with both state flag supporters and opponents all ready to speak out about the debate over flying the flag on city property.  (Photo source: WLOX) Biloxi's city council chamber was filled Tuesday night with both state flag supporters and opponents all ready to speak out about the debate over flying the flag on city property.  (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The Mississippi state flag was at the center of controversy on Tuesday in Biloxi. Emotions ran high for an overflow crowd full of flag supporters and opponents in the Biloxi City Hall. 

Following Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich's decision to take down the state flag in front of city buildings, Councilman Robert Deming introduced an ordinance for the council to consider requiring the flag to go back up. 

"We are a political subdivision of Mississippi and until we are no longer that we should fly the state flag, whatever the legitimate and official state flag is," Deming said. 

Read the full ordinance to fly the state flag here: http://bit.ly/2qXBOjG

Councilman Felix Gines expressed strong opposition to Deming's ordinance. 

"I'm insulted by this resolution," Gines said.  

A proposal was also presented to change the state flag.

Read the approved resolution to change the state flag here: http://bit.ly/2q4v7Nx

"This resolution is basically sending a message to the state legislature that we would like to see a compromise, a change in the flag to let the citizens vote on it," said Council Member Dixie Newman. 

The council approved that motion to ask the state legislature and governor to consider changing the flag. After hearing the council's proposals citizens spoke on the issue for 45 minutes. Some praised Mayor FoFo Gilich for taking down the flag. 

"It takes guts to do what this mayor did," said a flag opponent. 

Others defended the flag. 

A flag supporter said: "65% of the voters of Mississippi said that they wanted this flag flying, so what man has the right to stand up and go against the vast majority of the population of Mississippi and decide on their own I'm taking it down?"

The council didn't vote on the ordinance to put the flag back up, but when it does come up for vote Deming seemed confident it would pass.

"I do believe we have the majority of the support to get this passed," Deming said.
 
The council is expected to vote on the flag ordinance at the next meeting in two weeks.

The council would need five of seven votes to assure passage and mayor's veto override. 

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