OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi's state flag is back flying over the top of city buildings in two Jackson County cities. In Ocean Springs, residents have mixed views about the decision.
If you ask people around Ocean Springs, they're not exactly sure the last time the Mississippi state flag flew over city hall.
That all changed Tuesday when newly elected mayor Shea Dobson decided to bring it back. Now, it flies just below the American flag.
"That's a reflection of him to put it back up after we took it down," resident Lori Washington said.
The flag debate is controversial, evoking emotion from many. The staple Confederate emblem rests in the left hand corner: 13 white stars on a blue X; a symbol of racism and hate to some.
"When I see the flag I feel like people are still trying to hold on to slavery and that mindset," Washington said.
She's not alone. A growing number of municipalities throughout Mississippi are steadily voting to lower the state flag.
"Clearly our flag needs to be changed, it's causing controversy all over the state and nationally," said Jayne Jackson.
But, not every one is against keeping it. Some say they believe it's a crucial part of the state's heritage.
"As a historical emblem, I believe we should preserve it so that future generations can interpret their own meaning from it," said Thomas King.
Dobson says it's not about his personal feelings. In a Facebook post about his decision, he said, "Stand for what you believe in, however let's all try to at least genuinely consider the other side."
The mayor supports putting the issue of changing the flag up to a vote. Regardless of the design, he says the Mississippi state flag will fly over city hall.