ORLEANS — The case over whether the state of Mississippi
should be required to remove the Confederate battle-flag symbol from
its state flag was heard by the 5th Circuit Court of
Appeals earlier this month.
The New Orleans-based court was
reviewing a case brought against the state of Mississippi by Carlos
Moore. The Mississippi lawyer, also an African-American, charged that
the flag is “state-sanctioned hate speech,” according to the
In 2016, according to a Newsmax report
citing a Jackson Free Press story, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves
of the Southern District of Mississippi dismissed Moore’s case,
saying in part that fear of violence similar to that in a South
Carolina incident involving the flag “fell 'short of Constitutional
standing.” That decision is at the heart of the appeal that was
heard by the 5th Circuit Court.
“We believe that
Carlos does indeed have standing. If the court agrees, we’ll go
back to Mississippi for a trial. Otherwise, we may file a petition
with the U.S. Supreme Court,” Michael Scott, Moore’s attorney,
told the Louisiana Record.
“When the Confederate emblem
was added in 1894, it was done so as a banner of white supremacy,”
Scott believes that this adds to the
overall historical use of the symbol as one of oppression. With this,
he thinks it is fairly clear to see how a citizen could feel the
state was promoting this type of belief.
The use of the Confederate symbol began
falling out of favor across the country for use in an official
capacity following the 2015 shootings
of black parishioners in a South Carolina church. The assailant, a
white male, had posted photos online of himself with the Confederate
flag. Following that tragedy, the state of South Carolina removed the
symbol from state grounds.
“In the summer of 2015, there were a
number of attempts in the Mississippi state Legislature to change the
state flag. None of them had enough votes to pass, though,” Scott
said. “Carlos decided to attempt to bring change through this
lawsuit because, as he said, you can only wait so long.”
said this case is strictly about the way that the state uses this
“We want to make it clear that this
has nothing to do with an individual's right to have the symbol on
their car or on a shirt or in their house,” he said. “This is
just about if the state should fly that flag.”
Circuit Court did not offer a timeline for their decision, the
Associated Press reported.