- Associated Press - Thursday, February 11, 2016

MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) - A McComb selectman’s motion to remove the Mississippi state flag from all city buildings because of its Confederate battle emblem has failed.

Selectman Donovan Hill’s motion to remove the flag failed at Tuesday’s meeting, according to the Enterprise-Journal (http://bit.ly/1QtYGwu). Selectmen Ted Tullos, Michael Cameron and Tommy McKenzie, who are white, voted to keep the flag. Hill and Selectman Ronnie Brock, who are black, voted to take it down.

Hill said the flag represents a “time of hate.”

“I believe that it offends at least half of the people who work for the city,” he said

Tullos said the flag is “just a symbol.”

“I don’t think we need to fear a symbol of history,” Tullos said.

This is the second time the city has taken up the issue of the state flag. In July 2015, the board cast a split vote to take down the flag from inside the board room.

Tullos, McKenzie and Cameron opposed that measure, while Brock, Hill and former selectwoman Tammy Witherspoon, who also is black, voted in favor. Mayor Whitney Rawlings, who is white, sided with the opposition, breaking the tie.

With Witherspoon’s former Ward 3 seat still vacant, the timing of Hill’s measure may have doomed it from the start.

Three candidates - all black - are running for the seat in a Feb. 23 special election to replace Witherspoon. Had the issue gone up for a vote once the new selectman took office and the vote ended in a tie, Rawlings would have had another chance to break it.

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Information from: Enterprise-Journal, http://www.enterprise-journal.com

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