Federal Court docket Blocks Lawsuit Attempting To Take Down Accomplice Flag


Tradition Politics

A federal appeals court docket will not be reviving a lawsuit that attempted to dam a Mississippi metropolis from flying the state flag that features the Accomplice battle emblem.

The fifth U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals this week affirmed a district choose’s determination that dismissed the lawsuit in opposition to Ocean Springs.

The lawsuit referred to as the flag “racially demeaning and hostile” and claimed town violated the federal Truthful Housing Act by flying the flag and sending the message that black individuals are unwelcome.

U.S. District Decide Louis Guirola Jr. dominated in June that plaintiffs didn’t show they suffered unequal remedy by the Ocean Springs authorities. A panel of three appeals court docket judges agreed Monday.

“The one act they allege is the Metropolis’s decision requiring the Mississippi state flag to be flown over public buildings,” the appeals court docket judges wrote.

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“That isn’t a ‘discriminatory housing follow’ as required by the FHA, and plaintiffs are subsequently not ‘aggrieved individuals’ below the statute.”

Ocean Springs didn’t fly the Mississippi flag for a number of years below a earlier mayor.

After a brand new mayor took workplace in July 2017, metropolis officers returned the flag to some municipal buildings.

The lawsuit was filed in April by a nonprofit group referred to as the Mississippi Rising Coalition and by three native residents.

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About 10 p.c of Ocean Springs’ almost 17,700 residents are black, in accordance with the Census Bureau.

That compares to about 38 p.c of Mississippi’s almost three million residents.

Mississippi has used the identical flag since 1894, with the Accomplice battle emblem within the higher left nook.

Individuals who voted in a statewide election in 2001 selected to maintain the flag.

Nonetheless, a number of Mississippi cities and counties and the entire state’s public universities have stopped flying it in recent times amid criticism that the Accomplice emblem is a racist reminder of slavery and segregation.

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Supporters of the flag say it represents historical past.

Accomplice symbols have been the topic of widespread debate throughout the South, significantly for the reason that 2015 killing of 9 worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and violence in August 2017 when a white nationalist rally happened in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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