Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag Top Two Finalists

The Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag selected the following two designs to advance to the final round. Voting ended at 12 noon on September 1st, 2020. The final results of the non-scientific, non-binding poll are displayed below, filtered to remove duplicate, suspicious or non-US votes.

 

Flag #1

Flag #1: “The Great River Flag”  Designer: Micah Whitson

“The Great River Flag”
Designer: Micah Whitson

Flag #2

“The New Magnolia” Designer: Rocky Vaughan, with design support provided by Sue Anna Joe, Kara Giles, Dominique Pugh and Clay Moss

“The New Magnolia”
Designer: Rocky Vaughan, with design support provided by Sue Anna Joe, Kara Giles, and Dominique Pugh

Stories

Flag #1: “The Great River Flag” 

Designer: Micah Whitson 

Description: The design features a shield based on the 1798 seal of the Mississippi Territory below a five-point star on a blue banner. There are twenty marks on the shield: eighteen vertical lines in red representing the three nations that occupied the Mississippi Territory (Spain, France, and Great Britain), and two white river waves representing the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. “In God We Trust” is written in a typeface that would have been used when Mississippi became a state in 1817. Blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice; red presents hardiness and valor. 

Each of the five flag designs incorporate a segmented star comprised of diamonds, a reference to the eastern diamondback rattlesnake which is revered in Native American cultures. The star was the added by the commission members. In “The Great River Flag,” the star also represents the five regions of the state. 

Whitson wrote, “The Great River Flag endeavors to capture as much of that into one unique image that supports Mississippi’s other meaningful symbols—the mockingbird, magnolia, and others—while standing on its own.” Read more at greatriverflag.com

Flag #2: “The New Magnolia” 

Designer: Rocky Vaughan, with design support provided by Sue Anna Joe, Kara Giles, and Dominique Pugh

Description: The New Magnolia flag is anchored in the center field by a clean and modern Magnolia blossom, a symbol long-used to represent our state and the hospitality of our citizens. The New Magnolia also represents Mississippi’s sense of hope and rebirth, as the Magnolia often blooms more than once and has a long blooming season. The New Magnolia is sleek and updated to represent the forward progression of Mississippi. 

The circle of twenty stars represents Mississippi as the twentieth state of the United States of America and is anchored by the gold five-point star, which stands alone. This star represents our first peoples, the indigenous Native American tribes of the land that would become Mississippi. 

The color blue in the main field of the flag echoes the blue of the American flag, representing vigilance, justice, perseverance, while the bands of red represent hardiness and valor. The gold lines and the gold stamen of the New Magnolia are a nod to the rich cultural history of Mississippi, specifically the visual arts, literature, music, and performing arts to originate in our state. 

 

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Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag

House Bill 1796 established the Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) is providing clerical support for the commission. The sole purpose of the commission, according to the bill, is to develop, design, and report to the governor and the legislature its recommendation for the design of the new state flag no later than September 14, 2020.

For more information email info@mdah.ms.gov.

Appointed by House Speaker Philip Gunn

Dr. Mary Graham
President of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Robyn Tannehill
Mayor of Oxford

TJ Taylor
Policy advisor for House Speaker Philip Gunn

Appointed by Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann

Judge Reuben Anderson
Former Supreme Court Justice and MDAH Board of Trustees President

Sherri Carr Bevis
Community Relations Liaison to the Singing River Health System and former teacher

J. Mack Varner
Vicksburg attorney

Appointed by Governor Tate Reeves

Tribal Chief Cyrus Ben
Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Mississippi Economic Council representative

Frank Bordeaux
Vice President, Property and Casualty for BXS Insurance in Mississippi
Mississippi Arts Commission Representative

Betsey Hamilton
Real estate broker and appraiser
Mississippi Department of Archives and History representative

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