Gautier city leaders prepare to vote on removing the state flag

Published: Sep. 1, 2015 at 1:26 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2015 at 1:37 AM CDT
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City leaders are inviting the public to attend the September 1st meeting. (Image Source: WLOX...
City leaders are inviting the public to attend the September 1st meeting. (Image Source: WLOX News)

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - The state flag could soon stop flying at one coast city's municipal buildings. Tuesday night, Gautier council members plan to vote on whether or not to permanently remove our state's banner.

Two weeks ago, the flag was removed from Gautier's city hall for less than a day. Local American Legion Post members encouraged them to put it back up, and Mayor Gollott agreed out of respect for the veterans.

To Mayor Gollott, the state flag is an important issue. Especially since the confederate symbol has different meanings to different people.

"It's not that we're creating a controversy or anything, we just want to give people the opportunity to come in and voice their concerns," said Gollott.

Due to the divisiveness of the topic, Mayor Gollott wants the council to take a vote on whether or not the flag should continue to fly at municipal buildings. The Mayor, however, has his own thoughts about removing the flag.

"I feel that until such time is changed by the state, I'm going to voice my concerns and be a city official supporting the state flag," said Gollott.

Some Gautier residents seem to be split on the issue.

"I think just because of the racial tension that comes along with it. I understand that people's ancestors died for the flag, but I think that they should change it," said Ashley Rodgers.

Tiffany Smith disagrees, and says she would be disappointed if it was taken down.

"They all have a symbol and all the symbols of the flag is what built our country," said Smith.

Others don't have a strong opinion on the topic at all.

"I really don't have an opinion about it. It's their opinion about it, like if you like it, you like it. If you don't like it, then you don't like it. They have their own opinion about it so, it really doesn't bother me," said Colions Cato.

Jackson County NAACP president Curly Clark will be at the meeting to discuss removing the flag. The council will also consider endorsing House Speaker Philip Gunn's proposal for a new state flag.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Gautier City Hall, and the public is encouraged to attend.

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