Lawyer Says He’ll Take Ole Miss Confederate Flag Ban to Supreme Court
JACKSON, Miss. A lawyer for a White supremacist group says he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to outlaw the University of Mississippi’s ban on Confederate flags at athletic events. Nationalist Movement lawyer Richard Barrett says the prohibition violates his First Amendment right to free speech. “The people of Mississippi have just as much right to wave a flag as the hippies had to burn the United States flag,” Barrett says. “We are going to the U.S. Supreme Court and say if you can burn a flag you can certainly wave a flag.” University officials cited safety concerns for the ban, claiming the stick that served as a handle for the flags was dangerous in a crowd (see Black Issues, Sept. 14). Ole Miss officials adopted the policy in the fall of 1997, after former head football coach Tommy Tuberville asked fans not to wave Confederate flags at games. Tuberville says he didn’t want the flag associated with Ole Miss. The student government supported Tuberville’s request. The 5th U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the ban in August. “This is a futile case and a waste of time and energy,” Jeffrey Alford, a university spokesman told Black Issues. “The courts have upheld our decision in each case and we don’t expect the verdict to change. The whole debate was resolved years ago. It hasn’t been an issue on our campus for five years.”
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