By Jackie Hampton,
On Tuesday, August 25, members of the Commission to Redesi
gn the Mississippi State Flag met and chose two flag designs to replace the retired Mississippi State Flag which carried the Confederate battle emblem. Governor Tate Reeves signed House Bill 1796, June 30, which retired the last state flag in the United States of America carrying this emblem.
Before meeting to discuss the final selections, commission members gathered at the Old Capitol Museum and viewed each of five flag finalists, which had been raised on the flagpole to see how they looked hanging in the air. There were two designs to advance, one was images of “The Great River Flag” and the other was “The New Magnolia Flag.” Several legislatures along with Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann were present.
The meeting, which was presided over by Chairman Reuben Anderson took place at the Two Mississippi Museums. Anderson was joined by commission members Cyrus Ben, Sherri Carr Bevis, Frank Bordeaux, Mary Graham, Betsey Hamilton, Robyn Tannehill, T.J. Taylor and J. Mack Varner.
The Mississippi Link asked Senator Hillman Frazier, of District 27, about the task of the Redesign Committee. Frazier was one of the many state legislators who avocated for changing the flag for years. He said the committee had a tough job, having to go through many entries. Frazier stated, “There were many great designs and ideas. First they went through over 3000 entries, then narrowed it down to five, and then two. It was a tough job, with the two finalists being contrasting flags.
Images of “The Great River Flag” and “The New Magnolia Flag” have been placed on the Mississippi Department of Archives and History website, alongside a new nonbinding public poll: www.mdah.ms.gov/flagpoll-top2.
Information about the flag designs and a comment section are included with the public poll, which will expire at noon September 1.
Frazier said the commission will choose the final design at a meeting September 2 and then present it to the governor and legislature. He said the decision to approve or disapprove the flag will be on the Nov. 3 ballot.