TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) – The City of Tupelo will fly the city’s flag in place of the Mississippi state flag at the police department headquarters.
On Tuesday, Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton held a news conference at city hall where he made the announcement.
The following was Shelton’s statement:
“I, Jason Shelton, Mayor of the City of Tupelo, pursuant to Miss. Code Anno. Sec. 21-8-15 and recognizing that the Order of the previous City Council dated November 1, 2016, regarding flag displays at city buildings was not an ordinance of the City of Tupelo, but merely a declaration of the will of the previous City Council and therefore non-binding on its successors, the City of Tupelo Flag will be displayed and flown in lieu of the State Flag at the Tupelo Police Administration building until further declaration by the governing authorities.”
Shelton stated during the city council's last term, the city council issued an order stating if more than one flagpole was present at the police department, the United States flag and the Mississippi state flag would be flown.
He says that was an order and not an ordinance, which is a "big distinction."
"One council cannot bind a subsequent council," he continued. Even though the council and Shelton have remained the same in both terms.
In 2017, the city flew the state bicentennial flag instead. The city replaced the bicentennial flag with the Mississippi state flag at the first of 2018.
He said his office received numerous complaints from city leaders, including Councilwoman Nettie Davis.
"It is not representative of all the people of the State of Mississippi," Shelton stated in reference to the Mississippi state flag. "And it's time for the State of Mississippi to adopt a new state flag."
The mayor stated this executive order only addresses the Tupelo Police Department.
WTVA’s Wayne Hereford was at the news conference and will have reports throughout the day on WTVA 9 News and online at WTVA.com.