/State flag commission makes tweaks, narrows choices to nine

State flag commission makes tweaks, narrows choices to nine

These nine designs can be viewed and voted on by the public via the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s website. Nearly 3,000 public submissions were reviewed by the commission for a new state flag design. The commissioners plan to vote online Tuesday morning to choose five designs. One prototype of the cloth will be made and flown to the Old Capitol on August 25th. Next, the commissioners will vote by September 2 to choose one flag for Nov. 3. After decades of debate, the Mississippi Legislature voted in June to take down the 1894 state flag and its divisive Confederate battle symbol. It created the commission to select a new flag that will be presented to voters on the Nov. 3. ballot. The new design is up to the voters to approve or reject. If voters reject the design, they can go back to the drawing boards and present a new design next year to voters. The new flag must include the words “In God we Trust” and ban Confederate battle flag imagery. The governor, lieutenant governor, and House speaker appointed the commissioners. They debated various designs and examined multiple options. The commission heard last month from a flag expert and vexillologist. However, the commission seems to have diverged from his advice. The expert suggested a simple design that children could remember. The majority of the designs suggested by the commission are complex and include intricate details such as magnolia trees, magnolia flowers, or the Mississippi River. Expert recommended that vertical stripes be avoided and only use horizontal ones. All three of the remaining designs have stripes. Commissioners noted that many people believe magnolia trees or blossoms evoke the “Old South”, which the state wants to rid of with its flag change. Commissioners were also informed by an MDAH historian that Mississippi’s original flag, when it seceded the Union, had a magnolia plant. Seven of the seven remaining designs have magnolia trees or blossoms. On Friday, the commissioners met with a lawyer and approved a copyright agreement and intellectual property agreement. The finalists will need to sign it before they can be selected for the state flag.