JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi is another step closer to a new state flag design to go on November’s ballot. The commission has been working with a designer to make some tweaks to many of the originally submitted designs.
Friday, they narrowed it down to the top nine. You can view the flags and vote for your favorite at https://www.mdah.ms.gov/flagpoll
The commission is charged with finding a flag with strong symbolism while being simplistic enough that a child can recreate it.
“This is something we need to recognize,” said commission member J. Mack Varner. “When people see our flag, they recognize immediately that it’s Mississippi.”
Thousands of submissions were narrowed to hundreds and then down to less than a dozen ahead of Friday’s meeting.
“All of the people of Mississippi who have taken a keen interest in what we are doing, especially those 3,000 people that have submitted designs,” noted commission chair Judge Reuben Anderson.
This is a nine member commission but they all agree that they’ve heard a lot of input from community members. The magnolia is on several of the top designs and has gotten mixed feedback.
“The magnolia makes me think of Mississippi and hospitality,” said Sherri Carr Bevis. “I’ve had the same comments that Katie did. I’ve had a lot of people who liked it and a lot of people who don’t.”
“Specific concerns about the magnolia flower relating to it as perceived as possibly a symbol of the Old South,” said Mississippi Department of Archives and History Executive Director Katie Blount about some of the feedback.
One member wanted to ensure another element was incorporated.
“What is our state named for? The river,” noted Varner.
While the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Tribal Chief Cyrus Ben requested that some stars be tweaked to contained more symbolism.
“You see that in our clothing, our beadwork and our basket designs,” described Ben. “You see the diamond designs. And the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake is also a respected animal that also protected the crops in the field. So, that’s where you see that diamond design incorporated.”
The won’t get to cast a binding vote till November but a non-binding poll including the top nine will be posted to the Department of Archives and History website.
The commission will select the final five next Tuesday and those five will be made into flags. Their final decision will be made by September 2.