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Plaintiffs in Ocean Springs state flag lawsuit decide not to move forward with the case

Lea Campbell said despite months of protests and attempts to engage in dialogue with city...
Lea Campbell said despite months of protests and attempts to engage in dialogue with city leaders about the flag, the mayor and board of aldermen have dismissed or ignored their concerns. (Photo source: WLOX)
Updated: Jan. 19, 2019 at 10:41 AM CST
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MISSISSIPPI, (WLOX) - After consulting with their attorneys, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the city of Ocean Springs have decided not to pursue the case any further, according to Mississippi Rising Coalition (MRC) President Lea Campbell.

This decision comes after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected an appeal from the MRC of the dismissal of their lawsuit against the city. That ruling was made on December 5, 2018.

In a previous interview after that ruling, Campbell said they would meet with their attorneys on how to move forward. However, in a statement to WLOX, Campbell said they have decided not to continue to pursue the case.

The Confederate battle emblem in the corner of the Mississippi state flag continues to fan the...
The Confederate battle emblem in the corner of the Mississippi state flag continues to fan the flames of debate over whether or not it should be taken down or changed. (Photo source: WLOX)

Originally, the lawsuit specifically called for the city to remove all public displays of the Mississippi state flag. It also requested 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.”

As a response to the lawsuit, the Ocean Springs Board of Aldermen voted during a June executive session to move forward with filing a claim to ask a judge to order Mississippi Rising to pay the city’s legal bills.

Ocean Springs Mayor Shea Dobson says Mississippi Rising should pay the city back for the state...
Ocean Springs Mayor Shea Dobson says Mississippi Rising should pay the city back for the state flag lawsuit. (Photo Source: WLOX)

However, the Court of Appeals rejected that as well.

MRC will continue to support efforts to remove the Confederate emblem representing the ideology and social and political hierarchy of white supremacy from all municipal properties in Ocean Springs. We will not be deterred by retaliatory acts or statements by the City, the KKK or other white supremacist groups. We will continue to advocate for City leadership that acknowledges and actively promotes-- through words, symbols and policy-- the dignity, safety and equality of every citizen of the City.

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