- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 8, 2016

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - Jackson County supervisors have voted to keep flying the state flag on county property and at county buildings.

Monday’s vote was 4-1.

In a resolution, they referred to a previous statewide vote 2001 to keep the flag and said that until the state addresses the issue, the county will continue to fly the flag.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1ntlzs9) Board President Melton Harris, who is black, strongly opposed the vote. The others, who are white, Barry Cumbest, Troy Ross, Ken Taylor and Randy Bosarge voted for it.

Curley Clark with the NAACP said he was disappointed in the county’s missed opportunity to lead in the movement to take down the flag and pointed out that today’s vote along racial lines shows how divisive the flag is.

The vote came after a month of considering the issue and the legalities of taking down the flag and after an hour of impassioned arguments from both sides.

The NAACP and the group One Mississippi Flag for All asked Jackson County leaders last month to take down the flag because of the Confederate battle emblem on it — a reminder of slavery, racism and the Civil War. They asked other county Boards of Supervisors as well, but only Jackson County agreed to vote.

On Monday, a stream of people came before the board to renew that request. There were also representatives from the Sons of the Confederacy and others who said the flag represents history and heritage and that the flag is a state issue, not one for the county to decide. Also, retirees with the Singing River Health System county hospitals said they would like people who oppose the injustice of the flag to also consider supporting them in their fight with the county about the injustice of their lost pension.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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