Supreme Court rejects case challenging use of Confederate emblem in Mississippi flag

Supreme Court rejects case challenging use of Confederate emblem in Mississippi flag
© Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected hearing a case that challenges the use of Confederate imagery in the Mississippi state flag.

Carlos Moore, an African-American attorney from Mississippi, argued that the flag represents "an official endorsement of white supremacy."

"The message in Mississippi's flag has always been one of racial hostility and insult and it is pervasive and unavoidable by both children and adults," Moore said in his court appeal.


"The state's continued expression of its message of racial disparagement sends a message to African-American citizens of Mississippi that they are second-class citizens." 

The justices did not comment on their decision to decline Moore's appeal to have the flag ruled as an unconstitutional symbol of slavery, The Associated Press reported.

"We always knew it was a long shot," Moore told the news wire.

After a lower court rejected the lawsuit for lack of standing in April, Moore appealed the case to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had given the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause too narrow of an interpretation.

"We're hopeful that one day the flag will come down," Moore told the AP. "It seems that the public sentiment continues to change, and I am confident that it will come down in my lifetime and definitely in my daughter's."

Moore argued that the flag's design, which has been used since 1894, is hurting the economy in a state that has a 38 percent black population.

His push to change the flag comes about 16 years after Mississippi residents voted to keep it as-is in a 2001 statewide referendum.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) has blasted Moore's lawsuit as "frivolous."