People change over time, so why not flags? Though it is not as common, state flags can also experience alterations, even in the present day. Thus, the Magnolia State is finally represented with an obvious state symbol — the magnolia flower — on its newest flag.
Obviously, there are a few interesting facts about the Mississippi flag, so here are the most curious ones.
Hospitality, Hope, and Rebirth
The magnolia flower on the flag does not stand there just because Mississippi abounds with this tree species. The magnolia represents hospitality, hope, and rebirth. The latter is exactly what the whole flag replacement process was all about — discarding any associations with the slavery justification and South’s stance in the Civil War. Hope is certainly present for the better tomorrow with this latest flag update, and southern hospitality has a reputation of its own.
In short, the flower of magnolia could not depict any better what the state and its citizens are aiming for with the new flag.
Narrowing It Down
Once the new flag competition was announced to the public, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History received about 3,000(!) flag design proposals. At last, five finalists were picked and flown at the Old Capitol. Next, the choice narrowed down to the Magnolia Flag and the Great River Flag. The Magnolia Flag was proclaimed the winner on September 2nd, 2020 and it was then up to the Mississippi citizens to say whether they like it or not in the November ballot.
Fortunately, the new flag appealed to about 71% of the voters and it’s now flying proudly.
The Magnolia Flag became the official state symbol after being signed by the Governor on January 11, 2021.
The Magnolia flag has 20 white stars and a single yellow star. The white stars represent Mississippi as the 20th US state. A bigger diamond-shaped yellow star is placed at the top as a tribute to Native American tribes from the state.
In this way, the updated flag clearly represents history without any traces of the Confederal government and its goals while at the same time showing respect to indigenous Mississippians.
Do’s and Don’ts
The only prerequisite for the new Mississippi flag was that it has to contain the words “In God We Trust”. This makes the Mississippi flag the third flag in the country depicting the motto (the other two states are Florida and Georgia).
However, there was also a ban — in no way was the new flag to contain the Confederate battle symbol.
An Unlikely Creative Group
The original layout of the new flag is credited to Rocky Vaughan, a creative director of a small screen-printing shop from Ackerman, Mississippi. Nevertheless, the final version is the result of a mutual effort of four more designers: Sue Anna Joe, Kara Giles, Dominique Pugh, and Micah Whitson.
Yet, the final alterations were made by an illustrator and flag expert Clay Moss in order for the flag to be in accordance with the industry standards.