The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal challenging the use of a Confederate battle emblem on the Mississippi state flag. The application was submitted by an African-American lawyer who said that the emblem on the Mississippi flag is “an official endorsement of white supremacy” and “unconstitutional relic of slavery”.
According to the petitioner’s opinion, the confederate battle emblem on the current official state flag of Mississippi “encourages or incites private citizens to commit acts of racial violence in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.”. In this respect he filed a suit against the Mississippi Governor. Governor Phil Bryant has called the lawsuit “frivolous”, saying that if the flag design is to be reconsidered, it should be done by a statewide vote as it was more than 16 years ago.
In his appeal to the Supreme Court, the lawyer called for the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional Mississippi regulation on how the flag should be designed and displayed.
The Supreme Court judges did not comment on the ending of the lawsuit sought to have the flag declared “an official endorsement of white supremacy” and “unconstitutional relic of slavery”.
It should be noticed that the case was rejected by the US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, and further rejected by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals explaining that “Exposure to a discriminatory message, without a corresponding denial of equal treatment, is insufficient to plead injury in an equal protection case”.
The Mississippi state flag has incorporated the Confederate battle flag in its upper left corner and it is in use since 1894. The flag was repealed in 1906 but remained in de facto use. When a referendum failed for a new design in April 2001, the state legislature voted to readopt the historic design the same month. The Mississippi flag is the only U.S. state flag to include the Confederate battle flag’s saltire.