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Biloxi councilman to propose ordinance to fly state flag

Published: May. 9, 2017 at 2:04 PM CDT|Updated: May. 9, 2017 at 3:45 PM CDT
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The push to fly Mississippi's state flag at Biloxi City Hall and other municipal buildings around the city is now the focus of an ordinance drawn up by Councilman Robert Deming.

WLOX News Now has received a copy of the proposed ordinance. It states, "It is the desire of the City Council that the flag of the United States and the flag of the State of Mississippi shall be displayed in close proximity to municipal buildings at all times during the hours of daylight when the weather will permit."

Why use the phrase "in close proximity?" Simple, Deming said, "The flag pole at City Hall is across the street."

Deming promised to draw up an ordinance that requires the state flag to fly outside city buildings at the Biloxi City Council's last meeting. He made that announcement after Mayor Andrew "Fofo" Gilich ordered the state flag to be removed from city properties. Gilich said his decision to only fly the U.S. flag was in Biloxi's best interests.

"In my heart is only what's best for Biloxi," Gilich said after the April 25 city council meeting.

Since the flag came down, protesters who support the state flag have periodically gathered outside city hall. Today, people opposed to the flag will be there for a prayer rally. The Rev. James Black organized the prayer vigil. A news release says the rally is to "pray that evil is not allowed to win."

Deming expects to add the ordinance to Tuesday's council meeting agenda for a first reading. It will not be debated tonight. The city council can't vote on the ordinance until its next meeting.

After the April 25 meeting, four council members said they would support the ordinance. Two others opposed the idea of the state flag flying in front of city buildings again.

Biloxi Councilman Kenny Glavan is one of the city leaders in favor of the state flag flying outside municipal buildings.

"What I hope we accomplish is ensuring the majority of Biloxians who voted to keep the current version is preserved," Glavan said as he prepared for tonight's council meeting. "I hope we can be better than throwing barbs that raise tensions and erode our emotional IQ."

The only councilman who hasn't shared his opinion with WLOX News Now is George Lawrence.

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