CLARKSDALE, Miss. (localmemphis.com) - The first African-American municipal judge in Clarksdale, Mississippi, got down to business his first day on the bench. Judge Carlos Moore ordered officials to remove the state flag from his courtroom because it contains the confederate emblem.
"That flag is now history in that courtroom as long as I'm a judicial officer there,” says Moore.
Judge Carlos Moore doesn't hold back his feelings about the Mississippi state flag. During a FaceTime interview, he said, "That flag does not stand for justice. With that confederate emblem it signifies that the state supports the sorted history of enslaving African-Americans as well as killing them and raping them."
Moore's first order of business as a temporary judge in Clarksdale and the first African-American to sit on the bench, was to get the confederate-marked flag out of his sight.
"Judges run their courtrooms and they have the full Authority of the law to run their courtrooms the way they see fit. My courtroom will be a courtroom where people can come before me and expect justice,” says Moore. "Most of the people that appear before me will be African-American and they need to feel that the courtroom is gonna be a place they can get justice. That flag does not stand for justice."
We recently spoke to Ray Duncan of Olive Branch about his stance on the flag. He wasn't available for an interview, but says his feelings have not changed.
"I'm proud of my heritage. I love the south. I have many black friends who, they know how I feel about the south. If you don't bring it up, we're just, we're just all one family."
Others say they're indifferent. They don't believe a flag should make a difference in how someone is treated.
"It's just a flag. Just a memory. A history,” says Ashley Martin of Greenwood. "I don't have anything against the confederate flag. I just treat everybody equally."
Moore sued the state over the flag, but the lawsuit was dismissed. Now Moore is trying to take it to the supreme court.
"The flag is now down on all of the eight public universities. It's continuing to come down day by day. And one day my daughter will see a state where the flag no longer flies on any government property,” says Moore.
Moore filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to declare the flag unconstitutional. The issue is expected to be brought before the Supreme Court in October.