Carrot-Top is proud to offer high-quality Mississippi flags that are sure to make a statement with their bold colors and ability to effortlessly wave in the wind.
Rocky Vaughan created the new Mississippi flag with assistance from Sue Anna Joe, Kara Giles, and Dominique Pugh. In the most current revision, the committee received hundreds of applications for a new flag design. It then whittled them down to just one, which was put to the public's vote as a ballot initiative on November 3, 2020. It is one of three state flags in the United States that has the phrase "In God We Trust," which also appears on the Florida and Georgia flags.
Read further underneath the products to understand the complete, rich history of the Mississippi flag and how Carrot-Top can help you show your pride in the “Magnolia State” today.
History of the Mississippi Flag
First Flag (1861–1865)
Mississippi lacked a flag before the year 1861. Near the beginning of the American Civil War, on January 9, 1861, the State Convention at the Capitol in Jackson declared its secession from the United States ("the Union"). Observers on the balcony handed a Bonnie Blue flag to the state convention delegates on the convention floor, and one was raised over the state capitol building in Jackson as a symbol of independence. Later that evening, Jacksonians marched through the streets while carrying the flag. The Irish musician and dramatist Harry McCarthy was inspired to write the nationalistic song "The Bonnie Blue Flag" after watching the street parade.
The "Magnolia flag" was the name of the first flag. For the period of March 30, 1861, to August 22, 1865, it served as the state flag. The report of a special committee established to create a coat of arms and "a fitting flag" was adopted by the state convention's delegates on January 26, 1861. The committee chose "A Flag of White Ground, a Magnolia Tree in the Center, a Blue Field in the Upper Left-Hand Corner with a White Star in the Center, the Flag to be finished with a Red Border and a Red Fringe at the Extremity of the Flag" as the suggested flag. The delegates failed to formally approve the flag in January because of time restrictions and the need to gather "means for the defense of the state," but they did so when they met again in March 1861. The different Confederate flags were flown more frequently during the war than the Magnolia Flag. Many of the laws and resolutions that the State Convention of 1861 approved were overturned by a state constitutional convention after the war was over. The ordinance from March 1861 "to provide a Coat of Arms and Flag for the State of Mississippi" was one of several that was revoked.
Second Flag (1894-2020)
The Magnolia Flag from the Civil War era was replaced on February 7, 1894, with a new flag created by Edward N. Scudder that featured the Confederate battle flag in its canton. Three equal horizontal tribands of blue, white, and red made up this second state flag, which also featured the battle banner of the Army of Northern Virginia in the canton. Although it is widely believed that the 13 stars on the state flag were for states that seceded from the Union, plus Missouri and Kentucky, which had Union and Confederate governments, they really signified "the number of the initial states of the Union."
All general laws in Mississippi that had not been reenacted by the legislature or included in the new code were eliminated when the state's legal system was updated in 1906. Due to a mistake in the legislature's language, the state had no official state flag from 1906 to 2001. The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the state legislature had annulled the state flag's adoption in 1894 and that the flag flown after that time, which has been regarded as official, had simply been customary or conventional.
Former governor Ronnie Musgrove convened an impartial commission in January 2001, and it created a new proposed flag design. A legally binding state referendum to modify the flag was presented to Mississippi voters on April 17, 2001, at the request of the legislature.
The 1894 state flag was kept after the referendum, which asked voters if the new design created by the independent commission should be approved, was rejected by a margin of 64% (488,630 votes) to 36% (267,812). The proposed flag had a blue square canton with 20 white stars arranged in a circle, replacing the Confederate rebel battle flag. The outer ring of 13 stars would stand in for the original Thirteen Colonies, the middle ring of six stars for the six nations that have ruled over the Mississippi Territory (including various Native American nations collectively, the French Empire, the Spanish Empire, the United States, and the Confederacy), as well as the six states that existed before Mississippi's admission (Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, and Indiana), and the inner and outer rings for the original Thirteen Colonies. The 20 stars would also signify Mississippi's membership in the United States of America as the 20th state.
The Mississippi flag was the only one in the union to have the saltire from the Confederate battle banner until Georgia changed their state flag in 2003. In a 2001 study by the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA), the design quality of Mississippi's flag was ranked 22nd out of 72 Canadian province, American state, and American territorial flags.
2015 Replacement Efforts
Following Dylann Roof's murder of nine black members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015 during a church massacre, there have been renewed calls for Southern states to stop flying the Confederate battle flag in official capacity. This also included a rise in criticism of the Mississippi state flag. Later, "many cities and counties," including Biloxi, and all eight of Mississippi's public colleges refused to fly the state flag until the insignia was taken out. The state flag was not displayed alongside the flags of the other 49 states in New Jersey, Oregon, or Philadelphia.
In the legislature, more than 20 flag-related initiatives, some of which demanded a new statewide vote, were filed in 2015 and 2016, but none of them advanced past committee. Both a trial judge and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a federal complaint from 2016 that claimed the flag amounted to "state-sanctioned hate speech." The matter was not taken up by the US Supreme Court.
Third Flag Design (2020-Present)
Legislators gathered support and began writing legislation to alter the state flag on June 9, 2020. Since the 2001 vote, this was the state's first significant alteration to the flag. The proposed law would make Laurin Stennis' artwork the official Mississippi state flag. Legislators started wooing Republican state house members to endorse the resolution with the backing of Republican Speaker of the House Philip Gunn.
Gunn promised that if he could obtain verbal support from 30 Republicans in addition to the 45 Democratic members of the House, he would be able to pass the resolution through a House committee. The resolution to change the flag was expected to pass with at least 20 Republicans supporting it, according to a report on June 10; another 20 Republicans were undecided. The legislators wanted to make sure they had the minimum number of Republicans—40—needed to suspend the rules and take up a bill. Senate Democrats submitted a motion to alter the state flag on June 11.
Public pressure for a new flag
The single "Mississippi It's Time" by Steve Earle was released on September 10, 2015, with all sales going to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group. After the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015, Earle produced and recorded the song with his trusted backing band, the Dukes, in the summer of that same year. The song addresses historical themes of racism, slavery, patriotism, and advancement since the Civil War and calls for the removal of the Confederate flag from state property.
SEC Events Prohibited in Mississippi
Greg Sankey, the SEC commissioner, stated on June 18, 2020, that the conference would consider prohibiting championship games from taking place in Mississippi unless the flag was changed. Ole Miss and Mississippi State, the two major universities in Mississippi, compete in the SEC. Following the conference's declaration, Chancellor Glenn Boyce of The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and President Mark E. Keenum of Mississippi State University expressed support for changing the flag. Along with numerous coaches from the colleges, the university athletic directors Keith Carter (Ole Miss) and John Cohen (Mississippi State) supported changing the flag.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) prohibited all postseason competition in Mississippi on June 19 until the flag was altered. In the past, the NCAA had prohibited preset events from taking place in the state, including men's basketball tournament games and football bowl games. Additionally, the new regulation would have prohibited merit-based championship venues including baseball and softball regionals, women's tournament basketball games, and tennis tournament matches. 2019 regionals for both baseball and softball were held at Ole Miss. 2019 saw Mississippi State host a baseball regional, matches in a men's tennis tournament, and matches in a women's basketball tournament.
A joint statement demanding a new state flag was also released on June 19 by the presidents of Mississippi's eight public universities (Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi Valley State University, University of Mississippi, and University of Southern Mississippi). On June 22, Conference USA declared Mississippi ineligible for any playoff competition until the Confederate eagle had been removed from the state flag. Southern Miss, the third-largest university in the state and a member of Conference USA, has participated in Conference USA's annual baseball tournament in Mississippi for eight of the past nine years. The fifteen community college presidents in Mississippi released an united statement on June 23 endorsing a new flag.
The Mississippi Baptist Convention
On June 23, 2020, the Mississippi Baptist Convention denounced the previous national flag. Baptist pastors issued the following statement: "This debate becomes a moral one due to the flag's racial undertones. Given that racism is in opposition to the core doctrines of Scripture, taking a stand against it is a question of biblical morality." On June 23, 2020, Walmart made the decision to stop flying the state flag at its 85 sites in Mississippi. At its U.S. stores, the retailer typically flies the appropriate state flag alongside the American flag.
Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann declared his support for a new flag on June 24, 2020. Along with Hosemann, there was State Auditor Shad White, Attorney General Lynn Fitch, Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson, and Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney. The Mississippi Legislature passed House Concurrent Resolution 79 on June 27, 2020, suspending the rules in the chambers so that a bill to change the state flag may be discussed and voted on. The motion was approved by the Senate 36-14 and the House 85-34.
At the time, there was no agreement on how to change the flag, whether to retire the previous one or immediately adopt a new one. The creation of a new Mississippi flag was a suggestion made by a number of lawmakers. This flag would be used alongside the current one, with a yet-to-be-decided design that omitted any representations of the Confederacy. Governor Tate Reeves flatly rejected this proposal, claiming that it would not "satisfy either side of this issue" and drawing comparisons to the separate but equal concept.
A bill known as House Bill 1796 was approved by the legislature on June 28, 2020. It would abolish the state flag, require it to be taken down from government buildings within 15 days of the bill's implementation, and create a nine-member commission tasked with creating a replacement flag that would be put to a vote in a referendum to be held in November 2020. In line with Georgia's 2003 decision to remove the Confederate emblem from its state flag, the measure stipulated that the Confederate battle flag be excluded from the proposed design and replaced with the phrase "In God We Trust." The bill was approved by the House with 91 votes in favor and 23 against. With 37 votes in favor and 14 against, the bill was approved in the Senate.
Governor Reeves had promised to sign any flag legislation voted by the Legislature that weekend into law earlier in the weekend. Reeves signed the legislation on June 30, 2020, following the governor's announcement that he would do so after the Legislature passed the measure. Mississippi no longer had an official state flag at this time since the act removed the sections of the Mississippi State Code that dealt with flags, namely Section 3-3-16.
House Bill 1796 would create the Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag, which would have until September 14, 2020, to propose a new state flag's design. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History was given instructions in the measure to create a strategy for removing the 1894 flag from state-owned structures and to help the commission administratively. According to the law, any design that the commission submitted must have the phrase "In God We Trust" and cannot feature the Confederate battle flag. The suggested design would then be the subject of a vote that would be held on November 3, 2020, in conjunction with the general election.
On July 13, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History issued a call for designs for a new state flag. House Bill 1796 stipulated that designs may only be approved if they included the phrase "In God We Trust" and did not incorporate the Confederate battle flag. The commission also said that submissions had to be original and follow the rules of the North American Vexillological Association, which stipulated that the design had to be easy enough for a kid to draw, contain only two or three basic colors, and have meaningful significance.
Matching Legislative Requirements
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History website has more than 2000 contributions that match the legislative requirements. The list of 147 flags was reduced by the 25 flags chosen by each of the nine commission members. A modified "Hospitality flag" did not get past the first round, but an apparently typographical error on the part of the commissioner allowed a similar-looking "Mosquito flag" to momentarily advance. The committee said that they had chosen nine candidates at a meeting on August 14. These finalists included either red, white, and blue or green and white color schemes, and featured diverse motifs such as a portrayal of the Mississippi River, magnolias, and stars made of diamonds essential to the Choctaw tribe. At its following meeting on August 18, the committee said that they will reduce these concepts to five finalists. On August 18, five finalists were announced, and on August 25, only two flags remained.
The "Great River Flag" by Micah Whitson and "The New Magnolia" by Rocky Vaughan, Sue Anna Joe, Kara Giles, and Dominique Pugh were the two remaining flags. The commission decided 8-1 on September 2 to place the New Magnolia flag on the ballot in November. The wording was made bolder, and the red and gold bars were thicker, compared to the previous design. The "In God We Trust Flag" is the official name of the flag. The flag's overall layout is credited to Rocky Vaughan, with assistance from Sue Anna Joe, Kara Giles, and Dominique Pugh (who created the magnolia illustration featured in the center). The Native American star's appearance was also credited to Micah Whitson. 73% of those who voted in a referendum on November 3, 2020, approved the flag. On January 5, 2021, the Mississippi State House of Representatives approved the flag, and on January 6, 2021, the State Senate approved it. On January 11, 2021, the state's governor approved it, making it the official state flag.
After the 2020 Referendum
A group called Let Mississippi Vote is pursuing a second referendum on a set of four flag designs: the Bicentennial flag, the Magnolia flag, the flag that was accepted in the November 2020 ballot, and the flag that it replaced. Their stated goal is to allow Mississippians to vote on more than one flag rather than just one. The group has submitted referendum language for approval to the Mississippi Attorney General's Office after reaching its goal of 5000 participants. The initiative must receive 106,190 valid signatures from Mississippi voters in order to be put on a ballot no earlier than in 2023.
When Mississippi had five congressional districts at the time, a 1992 amendment to the state constitution set the required number of valid signatures as 12% of the total number of votes cast for governor in the election that took place before the ballot initiative was filed, with no more than 20% of those signatures coming from a single congressional district. However, Mississippi was reduced to four congressional districts as a result of redistricting following the 2000 U.S. Census. The Mississippi Supreme Court overturned a medical marijuana initiative in a separate case after it had been certified for the ballot and been approved by Mississippi voters in 2020, stating that the ballot requirements "cannot work in a world where Mississippi has fewer than five representatives in Congress." Even though Let Mississippi Vote is still gathering signatures, the legislature has not yet taken any action in response to the court ruling, such as further changing the Mississippi Constitution.
Mississippi Flag Design
The crisp and contemporary Magnolia bloom that has long been used to symbolize our state and the friendliness of our people is the focal point of the New Magnolia flag, which is flown in the center of the field. Given that the Magnolia frequently blooms multiple times and has a lengthy flowering season, the New Magnolia also symbolizes Mississippi's spirit of hope and rebirth. The New Magnolia is sleek and updated to represent the forward progression of Mississippi. The gold five-point star, which stands alone, serves as the center point of the circle of twenty stars, which stands in for Mississippi as the twentieth state of the United States of America. This star stands for our original inhabitants, the Native American tribes who lived on the territory that would become Mississippi. The primary field of the flag is blue, echoing the hue of the American flag, and it stands for vigilance, justice, and endurance. The red bands on the flag stand for tenacity and bravery. The New Magnolia's gold stamen and lines are a reference to Mississippi's rich cultural legacy, particularly the visual arts, literature, music, and performing arts that have their roots here.
Pledge to the Mississippi State Flag
The pledge to the state flag is:
“I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence in her future under the guidance of Almighty God.”
—Mississippi Code Ann., Section 37-13-7, 1972
The law is a piece of the body of state laws that controls the instruction in the state's public schools. The pledge of loyalty to the Mississippi flag as well as the pledge to the American flag must be taught in public schools of this state, according to Section 37-13-7.
FAQ About Mississippi
What are the pros and cons of living in Mississippi?
- Low cost of living
- Mississippi is the least expensive state in which to reside, with rent prices there 37 percent less than in the other 49 states, land availability, cheap rent prices, access to the Gulf, and highways for shipping.
- Low cost of higher education
- Plenty of comfort food
- Mississippi food staples include fried chicken, fried okra, biscuits and gravy, collard greens, catfish, and cornbread. Two Sisters Kitchen's succulent, crispy fried chicken was highlighted on Man v. Food Nation, and Cajun's Fabulous Fried Chicken in Gulfport offers an unlimited buffet of the dish.
- Mild winters
- The winters in Mississippi are brief and pleasant, whereas the summers are hot and muggy. The average temperature along the coast in January ranges from 41°F to 52°F, which is warmer than the north. In the South, steamy summers can reach 90°F and frequently have 90% humidity.
- Low-quality education
- Mississippi's public school system consistently receives the lowest national rankings. According to Education Week's Quality Counts study, public education in Mississippi was once again ranked lowest. The state was given a "F" for academic performance and a "D" for the likelihood that pupils will succeed.
- Poor quality of health care
- In practically every important health result, Mississippi is in lowest place or extremely close to it.
What is the state of Mississippi famous for?
Mississippi is renowned for producing many excellent musicians and for being the origin of American blues music. It is renowned for both its catfish farming sector and its lush land, which makes it a powerful agricultural region.
Our Mississippi Flags are Made in the USA!
We take great pride in providing Made in the USA American and Mississippi state flags. You can directly support American independence and ensure safer and more equal working conditions by buying products made in the United States, where labor laws guarantee safe working conditions.
What Mississippi Flags do we Offer?
At Carrot-Top, we are excited to be able to offer Mississippi flags to display indoors, outdoors and even Mississippi flag sets to show off your pride!
Indoor Mississippi flags make traditional interior displays of the state flag. Mississippi Flags are made of our proprietary Beacon® Nylon and come in sizes of 4' x 6' and 3' x 5'. The 4' x 6' flag works best with a 9' indoor/parade flagpole, while the 3' x 5' Mississippi flag is best utilized with an 8' indoor/parade flagpole. With our unique Majestic Telescopic Pole, both flags fly beautifully. The greatest flag and flag material on the market, Beacon® Nylon, is available for a Mississippi flag.
Our house-brand Patriarch® Polyester flags and Beacon® Nylon flags are among the greatest quality flags available. We have outdoor Mississippi flags in a range of sizes to suit your needs and show off your pride in the Magnolia State today!
Our Mississippi Flag Sets feature beautiful flagpoles, top-notch flags, and your choice of flagpole finish. You can create the display that best suits your environment using Carrot-Top. Select a look that complements your current decor or develop a completely new aesthetic. In almost every room or setting, Carrot-Tops Mississippi flag sets will make a lovely indoor display.
Contact Out State Flag Experts Today!
The fact that Carrot-Top has been selling flags for more than 40 years gives us great pride. If you get in touch with us via our Contact Us Form, any of our Customer Care Representatives would be pleased to assist you in placing an order for a Mississippi state flag, an American flag, a flagpole, any of our custom goods, or even one of our military flags. Please read our comprehensive flag buying guide as well to make sure you get the right size flag for your display.