Historical Flags To Return To Eight Flags Display On Beach

The Confederate Battle flag will soon fly again over the beach in Harrison County. The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to add the eight historical flags to the display at the Biloxi-Gulfport line.

Supervisors voted to order eight small flags representing the eight flags that have flown over Mississippi. Those flags will fly beneath the eight American flags on the beach.

The eight flag display has been a source of controversy for years because it included the Confederate battle flag. Many in the black community say that symbol represents the racist past of Mississippi. Others argued the flag represents a part of history.

Protests in the spring of 2000 prompted Harrison County supervisors to remove all the flags until they could get tamper resistant poles in place.

After the September 11th terrorists attacks, Supervisors voted to fly eight American flags in honor those who died in the attacks.

Tuesday's vote to put the historic flags back on the beach display was 4 to 1. Supervisor William Martin was the lone no vote.

James Crowell, Biloxi NAACP President told WLOX News, "We're very disappointed by the board's decision. We were under the impression that if the flags went back up, they would be historically accurate. It's a disgrace to the American flag to put the eight others up at the same time."

The historic flags also once flew as part of a display in Biloxi. Eight American flags have flown there since shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Biloxi Mayor A-J Holloway told WLOX News that those flags will continue to fly until terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is either captured or killed.