'Ocean Springs United' marches to City Hall; Group wants state flag removed

'Ocean Springs United' marches to City Hall; Group wants state flag removed
'Ocean Springs United' and members of the community gathered at City Hall to protest the state flag. (photo source: WLOX)
'Ocean Springs United' and members of the community gathered at Marshall Park to protest the state flag. (photo source: WLOX)
'Ocean Springs United' and members of the community gathered at Marshall Park to protest the state flag. (photo source: WLOX)

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The battle over the state flag continues in Ocean Springs. Tuesday night, a group marched from Marshall Park to City Hall in an attempt to get the mayor to remove it from all government buildings in their city.

"They [the city] really do support this negative bias, this negative notion towards people, in my opinion, are different from the traditional, I would even say old school American. If you're not white and Christian, then you're other, and you're subservient," said Pamela Blackwell with Ocean Springs United.

Some say it's racist, a symbol of white supremacy.

"Not the fact that it's our state flag but what's on our state flag. That hurts. It truly hurts to see that," Blackwell added.

Blackwell and members of Ocean Springs United gathered at Marshall Park. After a pep talk, they made their way down to City Hall, gathering out front behind barricades set up by the city.

Once inside, several members were on the agenda to speak in front of the mayor and Aldermen, with a state flag directly behind them. Also at the meeting, were those in favor of the state flag and pushing Mississippi Initiative 62.

So why Ocean Springs? Why protest in a city over the state flag?

"When I moved here, the flag was not up, and I felt that the community was really inviting, really welcoming and very warm," Blackwell said.

Ocean Springs United said moving forward, protests are not enough.

Blackwell said, "There are also plans for boycotts of the city in the future, as well as petitions for the state to offer different options to the constituents on the ballot."

Right now Ocean Springs United is pushing to have the flag taken down in their city. They say once that's accomplished, they're willing to help other Mississippi cities to get the flag removed as well.

A civil lawsuit has been filed against the City of Ocean Springs to have the flags removed. Read a copy of the lawsuit HERE.

Meanwhile, some members of the community are speaking out in favor of their city. They told WLOX News they will continue to do business in Ocean Springs, and they're letting everyone know with bumper stickers.

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