Mississippi Flag Article Image

Does Mississippi Need A New State Flag?

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Mississippi is an American state that is rich in history. It was colonised by the French  just before the turn of the 18th century, and became the 20th state to join the Union over 200 years ago. It also has a flag that is older than 6 of it’s fellow states! But now there are many Mississippians calling for change. Let’s take a look at this! 

The Flag

Mississippi Flag

The flag of Mississippi was adopted in 1894, and is a triband of blue, white and red. The canton features a square which contains the saltire of the Confederate battle flag (RELEVANT SIDE-NOTE: The flag that is usually referred to as simply the “Confedarate flag” was never actually adopted by the Confederacy – it was just a battle flag used by some of the soldiers. It only gained popularity after the American civil war ended).

Many people dislike the presence of the Confederate saltire in the flag, especially given the modern associations drawn between the design and it’s use during times of slavery and racial segregation. In the 21st century, Mississippi is a diverse society, and many people are uncomfortable being represented a symbol that has over the years been used by a number of unsavory groups.

On the flip side however, many argue that it is a symbol of historical significance. The flag is a relic of an era where things were acceptable that we now know were wrong. Those in favor of the current flag say that it is possible to feature the heritage of the state in the symbol without it causing offence to the modern-day citizens. 

Whichever side of the fence you sit on, it is undeniable that the flag is causing a rift. So if the flag were to change, what design would be able to please everyone? 

The Stennis Flag

Stennis Flag

This proposed new Mississippi flag was designed by Laurin Stennis. She is a local artist, and interestingly the grand-daughter of a pro-segregation senator. Attitudes clearly weren’t passed down genetically, as now Laurin has designed a flag that aims to represent anybody who is Mississippian, no matter what race they are!

The flag incorporates the traditional state colours to be in keeping with tradition, but feature a tricolor design. The middle bar is white, with the two outer bars being deep red. In the center is an emblem featuring one large star that is surrounded by 19 smaller stars. The number of stars relates to Mississippi being the 20th of the United States, and the state is represented by the largest star.

If you like this design, Huffington Post did a short video article about it. They give a little more backstory on the current flag, and feature interviews with residents, flag experts and Laurin herself! It’s worth checking out.

The Mighty Magnolia

Mighty Magnolia

If you have read our article on the “International Flag of Planet Earth”, you will already know that university design students and cool flag projects seem to go hand-in-hand. Well, the Mighty Magnolia project is no different! 

What started as a masters thesis has become a movement for change. As well as having a fantastic nickname already, the flag is packed to the brim with symbolism. The colours are those found on the flag of the USA, and the white strip in the middle represents the Mississippi river from which the state derives it’s name! Each bend in the river represents a key moment in the history of the state. The flower in the canton is a magnolia, which symbolises that famous ‘southern hospitality’, peace and unity. 

Those are some of the notable symbolic elements of the flag, but the video below does a brilliant job of explaining more. There are so many clever details in the flag, and they are explained along with some great graphics, so be sure to check it out! Their website also has a wealth of insight.

It does appear that change is brewing down in Mississippi. With something of a vexillological revolution occurring in the US at the moment, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some kind of referendum or public consultation being held in the state soon. Especially when great, well presented projects like the two mentioned above are gaining support!

What Do You Think?

Vote in the Twitter poll above, and get in touch to let us know what you think, we’d love to hear from you! What are your thoughts on the current Mississippi flag? Can you think of a better design to represent the state?

Leave a comment to let us know! Otherwise, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for reading!

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