Mississippi Attorney Sues Governor Bryant Over State Flag
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Attorney Carlos Moore with Supporters at the Capitol
Desare Frazier

The Mississippi attorney who is suing Governor Phi Bryant to take down the state flag says he's prepared to see it through to the U.S. Supreme Court. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.

Attorney Carlos Moore says he began thinking about suing Governor Phil Bryant to take down the state flag after the South Carolina church shootings. He says when a Tupelo man threw an explosive in a Walmart last fall because they stopped selling confederate merchandise, he knew it was time. But Moore still waited to see what would happen to several bills introduced this legislative session to remove it. None of them made it out of committee. 

"We're here to declare time is out. Time up for business as usual. For 151 years since the Civil War ended Mississippi has not seen the light," said Moore.

Moore said the confederate emblem on the flag is a relic of the state's slavery and Jim Crow past and he doesn't want his five-year old daughter to grow-up under the symbol.  At a news conference at the capitol, Moore directed his remarks to the governor saying he's going to make Bryant take the flag down. 

"So I'm going to give this opportunity to do it on your own or be made to do it. And you know what? Once it's ruled unconstitutional, every African American will have a claim against the State of Mississippi," said Moore.

Representative Justin Bamberg who fought to have the confederate flag removed from South Carolina's capitol grounds was here. He understands the heritage point of view. But says it's still racist. 

"At the end of the day it's very clear the confederate flag represents hatred for people not because of who they are but because of what they look like," said Bamberg.
 
Professor Matt Steffey at the Mississippi College School of Law says, winning the case will be an uphill battle. 

"It's not enough to just say they're offended by it. They have to prove some tangible injury in order for it to be unconstitutional under the 14th amendment," said Steffey. 

Carlos Moore says U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves who is African American will hear the case. He says he plans to file a preliminary injunction in three to six months to ask the judge to order that the flag be removed until the case goes to trial.