Behind the change
Mississippi’s recently retired state flag, which was adopted in 1894, was the last state flag in the union to feature the Confederate battle emblem.
According to CNN, sentiments surrounding the banner appeared to have altered this summer as national protests arose in response to the death of George Floyd, who was killed at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
Advocates for changing the flag argued the Confederate emblem served as a painful reminder of America’s war to uphold slavery and glorified the oppression of Black Americans, CNN reports. Those who supported the 1894 flag claimed it as a symbol of heritage and suggested its removal would efface history.
In a historic move, the state elected to part ways with its century-old banner this summer. According to CNN, the 1894 flag flew for the final time on July 1, before it was officially retired and relocated to Mississippi’s department of archives and history.
The new flag
The international news site AJ+ recently posted an image of the new banner on Twitter:
The new design features a white magnolia blossom set against a dark blue backdrop, with red bands and gold stripes on either side. The blossom is encircled by white 20 stars, representing Mississippi’s status at the 20th state in the union, according to The Associated Press.
The gold five-point star positioned above the flower symbolizes Mississippi’s indigenous Native American tribes, according to NBC News.
- Below the flower are the words of the U.S. official motto, “IN GOD WE TRUST.”
Mississippi’s nickname is the Magnolia State, its state flower is the magnolia and its state tree is the magnolia tree. Now the magnolia blossom graces the state’s official banner.
Our flag should reflect the beauty and good in all of us. It should represent a state that deserves a positive image. ... 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.
The Mississippi State Legislature now has to enact the new flag design into law when the next regular session begins in 2021.