Club Says Flag Must Go

The resolution passed by the Gulfport Business Club asks the supervisors to do one of two things, either fly the historically correct Confederate Stars and Bars, or to fly only American flags at the beach display.

Club Member Sherman Muths says, "I had someone ask me why should we do it, and the answer's very simple, because it's the right thing to do."

The majority of the Gulfport Business Club says the right thing for the Harrison County Supervisors to do is remove the controversial Confederate Battle flag. Most club members voted for the resolution asking the supervisors to do so. Despite criticism from the NAACP and some community leaders, the supervisors have stood by their vote to keep the battle flag flying on the public beach.

"The fact that we are flying a flag that is not an appropriate flag leads me to believe and I believe the rest of the country to believe that we're doin' it for one thing and that's to stick it in the eyes of some folks down here, we don't have to do that," says Club Member Roger Wilder.

The flag does have a handful of supporters who voted against the resolution.

"Let the flag fly. I say love thy neighbor and fly the battle flag," says Himbert Sinopoli.

And Billy Hewes says, "The Confederate Battle flag is an honored flag and I think we need to leave it flying like it is. And I applaud the Bboard of Supervisors for the decision that they've made, and I hope they stick with their guns on this."

The club's president says he hopes the supervisors will realize that not as many people support the flag as the supervisors think.

"The supervisors say they've had calls many calls on this issue saying 20 to one in support of the battle flag. Frankly I don't see that. The people that have talked to me have been 20 to one in favor of replacing the battle flag with the historically correct flag. So, I hope this is a voice of the business community and other people that the supervisors haven't been hearing from," says John Harral.

The club's action is exactly what the NAACP is encouraging. The civil rights group wants all Harrison County businesses to take a stand against the flag and to publicly speak out against the supervisors decision to keep it flying.