Lawsuit over state flag in Ocean Springs moves forward

Lawsuit over state flag in Ocean Springs moves forward
The flag is still flying at City Hall. (Photo source: WLOX)

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The legal battle between the City of Ocean Springs, three of its residents, and Mississippi Rising Coalition is moving forward.

A summons was filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi formally notifying the city that a civil lawsuit has been filed against it. That summons gives the city 21 days to answer the complaint that was filed against Ocean Springs on April 4.

The plaintiffs named in the lawsuit include Mississippi Rising Coalition President Lea Campbell, Jackson County NAACP President Curley Clark, and Ronald Vincent, an African-American resident of Ocean Springs whose family members have lived in Ocean Springs since 1926.

The lawsuit specifically calls for the city to remove all public displays of the Mississippi state flag. It also requests that actual or punitive damages be decided at trial.

The plaintiffs argue that the city's display of the "racially demeaning and hostile state flag" violates the Fair Housing Act by expressing "a preference for white residents and a corresponding discouragement, and suppression, of African-American residents."

Read the lawsuit in full here:

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