By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
Josiah Coleman and Richard “Flip” Phillips face off Nov. 6 for a spot on the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Both men are attorneys, but that’s where the similarity ends, they claim.
Yet, they both have stories about their names.
Coleman grew up as Dennis, his middle name. He’s been Josiah just a few years, although he says he’s wanted to be Josiah since his college days.
“This is a good example of how my wife can get things done I couldn’t do myself,” he joked recently.
Coleman said he’s named for his great-uncle and as he grew older he decided his own first name sounded cool and liked it better than Dennis.
So, after he met his future bride and she became aware of his name interest, she introduced him that way to her family and friends.
“I knew he preferred it,” said Ashleigh Coleman, “so I knew that’s what they would call him if I started that way for him.”
As for Phillips, he said his namesake father came home from World War II and didn’t talk much about how he got the nickname “Flip.”
The truth came from a local friend, who said that during heavy combat in Europe, the elder Phillips turned over the U.S. Army vehicle he was driving in haste while fleeing danger with his comrades. The men hopped out of the overturned vehicle and flipped it back aright, and his nickname stuck – Flip.
When his son was born, Phillips assented to call him “Flip” in homage to his military service buddies.