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Today is October 29, 2020

Voters to decide on new proposed State Flag

By Steven Ward

When voters go to the polls Nov. 3, they will have an opportunity to decide whether a new proposed flag design will become Mississippi’s official state flag.

The Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag selected the “New Magnolia Flag” to become the new state flag. The commissioners submitted the design to the governor and the legislature as instructed in House Bill 1796, which established the commission.

The commission voted to brand the flag the “In God We Trust” flag.

The flag was designed by Rocky Vaughan, with design support provided by Sue Anna Joe, Kara Giles, Dominique Pugh, Clay Moss and Micah Wilson, according to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

The design features a white magnolia on a blue banner with red and gold bars on each end. The magnolia is encircled by 20 five-point stars, plus a star representing all the Native American tribes of the state, and the words “In God We Trust.”

“Our flag should reflect the beauty and good in all of us. It should represent a state that deserves a positive image,” Vaughan said in an MDAH news release. “The New Magnolia Flag represents the warmth and strength of the good people of Mississippi. Now is the time we show the world that we’re from Mississippi, the Magnolia State.”

Former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Reuben Anderson chaired the commission. Anderson was the first African American justice to serve on the state’s high court.

“No one worked harder to change Mississippi’s flag than Governor William Winter,” said Anderson, who is also president of the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. “I am thinking of him today as Mississippi takes this historic step toward selecting a state fl ag that will unify us and make us proud. I am grateful to our state leadership and my colleagues on the commission for their commitment to moving Mississippi forward.”

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann praised both the commission and process of finding a new proposed flag.

“I’m very proud of the commission. They worked so hard. They reviewed thousands of flags and devoted hundreds of hours to the process. They did it so we all have the ability to adopt a flag as our own,” Hosemann told Today in Mississippi.

Hosemann also said the commission’s decision to hold several public hearings and to give the public a chance to vote online on different flag designs was essential.

“I’m pleased with the way it was all handled,” Hosemann said. Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn said the new flag sends a message to the world.

“While the rest of the world seems to be dividing over protests and political agendas, Mississippians are setting an example with the “In God We Trust” flag by pointing the rest of the world to the answer to all of our problems – In God We Trust,” Gunn said.     

On July 1, 2020, Mississippi retired the state’s 1894 flag — the last state flag in the nation to incorporate the Confederate battle flag. The legislature directed that the new design must include the words “In God We Trust.”

 

Members of The Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag

  • Reuben Anderson - Former Mississippi Supreme Court justice
  • Cyrus Ben - Choctaw Tribal chief
  • Sherri Carr Bevis - Singing River Health System
  • Frank Bordeaux - BXS Insurance property and casualty insurance vice president
  • Mary Graham - Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College president
  • Betsey Hamilton - retired school teacher
  • Robyn Tannehill - Oxford mayor
  • T.J. Taylor - House Speaker Phillip Gunn’s policy director
  • J. Mack Varner - Vicksburg attorney
  • Members of The Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag
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