After he was elected this summer, Shea Dobson raised the state flag in Ocean Springs. But some proactive residents appear to have changed his mind.
Ocean Spring Mayor Shea Dobson announced in a Facebook post Tuesday evening that he has decided to take down the Mississippi state flag.
“After speaking with many residents of Ocean Springs, I have decided to no longer fly the state flag at City Hall,” Dobson wrote on his Facebook page. “I believe this decision is in the best interest of the City in order to move forward and focus on what makes Ocean Springs great.”
The post was immediately met by intense backlash from supporters of the flag. About an hour after making the post, Dobson took it down, he said, because the comments became too extreme. He confirmed that he had not changed his mind, however, about taking down the flag. The flag came down Tuesday evening.
On Dobson’s first day in office after he was elected in June, he decided to raise the state flag in Ocean Springs for the first time in more than a decade. At the time, he argued that all Mississippi cities should fly the official state flag, regardless of any other concerns, and called for a new statewide vote on the flag.
The decision was met with an outcry from residents who argued that the flag’s Confederate emblem represented Mississippi’s slave-glorifying past. Now, his Facebook page is being inundated with comments from supporters of the state flag who claim he is erasing history.
In July, Deep South Voice referenced Dobson’s initial decision to raise the flag in an editorial titled, “Mississippi’s City leaders must take a stand against the state flag.”
Ocean Springs rejoins dozens of other cities in Mississippi that have refused to fly the state flag.