The Mississippi state flag used to include the Confederate battle emblem on the upper left corner. That emblem includes a red field, a blue x and 13 white stars. The former flag was designed in 1894, and many people felt that it was not a good representation of the state especially considering there is a higher percentage of black residents in Mississippi than in any other state.

Back in 2001, Georgia changed their flag which had previously featured the Confederate battle emblem as well. Ronnie Musgrove was Governor of Mississippi at the time, and he pushed to have the Mississippi flag changed as well. Unfortunately, enough people disagreed that it didn’t happen.

Fast forward to 2020, and after the protests in June, state legislators decided that there needed to be a new Mississippi state flag. The new flag was required to include “In God We Trust.” More than 3000 flag designs were submitted, and a winning design was chosen.

The new flag design features a magnolia blossom with a circle of stars around it. There are 20 stars representing that Mississippi is the 20th state in the nation. One of the stars is gold to represent Native Americans. The new flag design was put to a vote on the November 3, 2020, ballot, and over 70% of voters approved the design.

On Monday January 11, 2021, Governor Tate Reeves signed a law that officially made the new flag design an official symbol of Mississippi. 

Reeves said, “When many looked at our former flag, they just saw a symbol of the state and heritage they love. But many felt dismissed, diminished and even hated because of that flag. That is not a firm foundation for our state. So today, we turn the page.”

Watch the new flag fly over the Mississippi state capitol in the video below.

Not everyone is a fan of the new flag. Some fans of the 1894 flag want residents to vote on the flag design again with the options being the 1984 flag, the new magnolia flag, an alternative flag that was also designed in 1894, and a flag that was designed for the state’s bicentennial in 2017.

It’s unlikely that the flag will be voted on again since the coronavirus would make it extremely difficult to collect enough signatures to get flag design back on the ballot.

What do you think of Mississippi’s new state flag?