UPD officer causes confusion over state flag regulations on USM - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

UPD officer causes confusion over state flag regulations on USM campus

photo credit: WDAM photo credit: WDAM
photo credit: WDAM photo credit: WDAM
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

There was uproar on The University of Southern Mississippi's campus after protesters said a university police officer told them to take down the state flag Sunday afternoon. 

The protesters said the officer asked them to take down the flag from their car that was parked on campus.

“I said, ‘the state flag has to come down?' and he said, 'yes per orders of Doctor (President Rodney) Bennett that state flags are not allowed on the campus,'” protester Kimberly  Craven said. 

Every Sunday, a group of state flag supporters gather at Southern Miss to protest the university’s decision to take down the flag last fall.

“To me, it’s symbol of courage and it just reminds me of a time when people have the courage to stand up to the government,” Craven said. 

WDAM 7 News reached out to Southern Miss, and David Tisdale with the USM Office of Communications said there is no such order, and flags are allowed on campus.

The university released this statement:

"The University of Southern Mississippi supports the right to lawfully and peacefully protest on or in front of the Hattiesburg campus with regard to the state flag. Any information leading individuals to believe otherwise is inaccurate."

However, this small mistake could cause some problems for USM.

“The fact that a police officer told them that they had to remove that flag is enough to create the basis of the lawsuit,” Hattiesburg lawyer Alexander Ignatiev said. 

Ignatiev said protesters can do this because the officer violated their freedom of speech.

“Flags are a protected type of speech and fundamentally a public university doesn’t have the ability to restrict what type of flag was shown,” Ignatiev said.

Despite this mix-up, supporters said they will continue to protest at the university to stand up for what they believe in.

Copyright 2016 WDAM. All rights reserved. 

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Two arrests, items recovered in Jones Co. grand larceny case

    Two arrests, items recovered in Jones Co. grand larceny case

    Monday, April 23 2018 5:16 PM EDT2018-04-23 21:16:12 GMT
    Zachary J. Holland, 21, of Ellisville was arrested and charged with two counts of grand larceny. (Photo source: Jones County Jail)Zachary J. Holland, 21, of Ellisville was arrested and charged with two counts of grand larceny. (Photo source: Jones County Jail)
    Zachary J. Holland, 21, of Ellisville was arrested and charged with two counts of grand larceny. (Photo source: Jones County Jail)Zachary J. Holland, 21, of Ellisville was arrested and charged with two counts of grand larceny. (Photo source: Jones County Jail)
    Two Ellisville men were arrested after a trailer containing lawn equipment they are accused of stealing was impounded by the Pascagoula Police Department.  Jones County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a larceny complaint on April 19, on Township Road in Jones County after a victim said his lawn equipment was stolen, according to a Jones County Sheriff's Dept. press release. Pascagoula police impounded a trailer with the lawn equipment and other equipment in Jacks...More >>
    Two Ellisville men were arrested after a trailer containing lawn equipment they are accused of stealing was impounded by the Pascagoula Police Department.  Jones County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a larceny complaint on April 19, on Township Road in Jones County after a victim said his lawn equipment was stolen, according to a Jones County Sheriff's Dept. press release. Pascagoula police impounded a trailer with the lawn equipment and other equipment in Jacks...More >>
  • LIST: Hattiesburg to close roads for Jimmy Buffett concert

    LIST: Hattiesburg to close roads for Jimmy Buffett concert

    Monday, April 23 2018 4:58 PM EDT2018-04-23 20:58:05 GMT
    Expected road closures in downtown Hattiesburg on Thursday, April 6, for the Jimmy Buffet concert at the Saenger Theater. (Photo source: City of Hattiesburg)Expected road closures in downtown Hattiesburg on Thursday, April 6, for the Jimmy Buffet concert at the Saenger Theater. (Photo source: City of Hattiesburg)

    Several roads will close in downtown Hattiesburg on Thursday, April 6, for the Jimmy Buffet concert at the Saenger Theater.

    More >>

    Several roads will close in downtown Hattiesburg on Thursday, April 6, for the Jimmy Buffet concert at the Saenger Theater.

    More >>
  • Hattiesburg man accused of choking wife, dropping her off at the hospital

    Hattiesburg man accused of choking wife, dropping her off at the hospital

    Monday, April 23 2018 4:34 PM EDT2018-04-23 20:34:00 GMT
    Anton Bolden.  Source: Forrest County Jail.Anton Bolden. Source: Forrest County Jail.
    Anton Bolden.  Source: Forrest County Jail.Anton Bolden. Source: Forrest County Jail.

    A Hattiesburg man is accused of choking his wife and then leaving her at a local hospital. Hattiesburg Police responded to a local hospital in reference to the domestic assault Monday morning.  According to HPD Spokesman Ryan Moore, the victim stated her husband choked her, and then drove her to the hospital and left around 5:30 a.m. She was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later discharged, Moore said. When officers located the victim's husband, Anton Bolden...

    More >>

    A Hattiesburg man is accused of choking his wife and then leaving her at a local hospital. Hattiesburg Police responded to a local hospital in reference to the domestic assault Monday morning.  According to HPD Spokesman Ryan Moore, the victim stated her husband choked her, and then drove her to the hospital and left around 5:30 a.m. She was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later discharged, Moore said. When officers located the victim's husband, Anton Bolden...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly