New Mississippi State Flag to Appear on November Ballot After Confederate Flag Dropped
The new Mississippi state flag design was chosen Wednesday and will appear on the November ballot for voters to approve.
The Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag voted 8 to 1 for “The New Magnolia" flag over another design, the "Great River" flag, according to the Associated Press. The chosen design will replace the Confederate emblem that was featured on the state flag for more than a century.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill in June that removed the racist symbol from the state's flag, which had been in place since 1894.
"Tonight, I signed the bill to retire the 1894 Mississippi flag and begin the process of selecting a new one — emblazoned with the words 'In God We Trust,'" the Republican governor said in a tweet at the time.
The new design features the state flower against a blue background with yellow and red bars on either side. The magnolia is encircled by the words “In God We Trust,” as well as 20 stars representing Mississippi as the 20th state. It also has a single yellow star to represent the Native American people who lived on the land before colonizers arrived.
“We’ll send a message that we live in the future and not in the past,” former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Reuben Anderson, the flag commission chairman, said after the Wednesday vote, according to the AP.
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The commission decided to promote the new flag to voters as "The In God We Trust" flag. If it is not approved in November, the process of choosing a new design will begin again and a special election will be held.
“I think they did a good job,” Reeves said later on Wednesday. “It's, I think, a well-done flag.”
Mississippi native Rocky Vaughan, the graphic designer who created the magnolia flag, said he started working on new flag designs several years ago.
“What I wanted to do was show every Mississippian that there’s a compromise out there, and we are the magnolia state,” Vaughan told the AP. “If it’s appealing to the eyes, it will be accepted.”