The state Legislature will now must enact into legislation the new design as Mississippi’s official state flag throughout its subsequent common session in 2021.
The flag encompasses a white magnolia blossom on a darkish blue backdrop, with crimson bands and gold stripes — becoming for the Southern state whose nickname is the Magnolia State, whose state flower is the magnolia and whose state tree is the magnolia tree.
The flower is surrounded by 20 stars, signifying Mississippi’s standing on the 20th state within the union, and a gold five-point star to replicate Mississippi’s indigenous Native American tribes.
Advocates for altering the flag had argued the Accomplice insignia was a reminder of America’s struggle to uphold slavery and a painful image for Black People. Additionally they argued the 1894 flag hampered the state’s financial progress.
These supportive of the previous flag claimed its removing would result in additional erasure of historical past.
The sentiment towards the 1894 flag appeared to shift this summer season amid racial reckoning over the demise of George Floyd, a Black man killed in Minneapolis police custody. Floyd’s demise led to renewed calls nationwide for racial justice and a reexamination of America’s Accomplice monuments and symbols, together with Mississippi’s state flag.
“This isn’t a political second to me, however a solemn event to steer our Mississippi household to return collectively to be reconciled and to maneuver on,” Reeves, a Republican, stated on the invoice’s signing in late June. The 1894 flag flew for the final time July 1, earlier than it was formally retired and handed over to the Mississippi Division of Archives and Historical past.
The invoice, Home Invoice 1796, referred to as for a new design that “shall honor the previous whereas embracing the promise of the long run.” It required that the design exclude the Accomplice battle emblem and embody the phrase “In God We Belief.”
The measure additionally established a nine-person fee chosen by the state’s prime Republicans and tasked with selecting a new design by September. Over the month of August, the fee waded by way of practically 3,000 flag design submissions from the general public, whittling them down to 2 choices.
Democratic state Rep. Jeramey Anderson, an writer of the Home invoice, celebrated the vote Wednesday, calling the new flag one which “unites moderately than divides” and a step in the best route for his state.
“This was a daring, bipartisan step that reveals the world Mississippi is lastly able to step out from beneath the cloud of slavery and Jim Crow. But it surely is not the ultimate step,” Anderson stated in a press release supplied to MeSlop. “Mississippi and the US stays tormented by systemic racism that retains individuals of coloration from being really free and equal.”
In 2001, Mississippians had voted overwhelmingly to maintain the Accomplice emblem on its state flag. Sixty-five % of voters selected then to maintain the 1894 flag with the Accomplice image as a substitute of adopting a new flag with 20 white stars on a blue background.