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Nov 15, 5:11 PM EST

Rebel-themed Mississippi flag taken back down from city hall

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) -- The Mississippi state flag with the Confederate battle emblem has once again been removed from a city hall.

For years, the flag was absent from city buildings in Ocean Springs. Republican Shea Dobson ordered that it be put back up when he became mayor in July.

WLOX-TV reports Dobson removed the flag from display Tuesday after hearing repeatedly from residents who say it's racist. He says the flag was a distraction.

All eight of Mississippi's public universities and several cities and counties have stopped flying the flag, the last state banner featuring the Confederate emblem. Many have removed it since the racially motivated killing of nine black worshippers in a Charleston, South Carolina, church in June 2015 by a white man who had posed for photos with the rebel flag.

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