GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The Mississippi Legislature voted in June to remove the old state flag, which included an image of the Confederate battle flag.
A significant portion of support for changing the state flag is coming from the state’s business leaders.
“I think most businesses, especially larger businesses and economic development agencies, realized that the flag symbolizes intolerance and made our state appear not very welcoming,” said Adele Lyons with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce.
Business leaders across the state are hoping the new flag will improve Mississippi’s image.
“Having a new flag just welcomes people and opens up and says Mississippi is the Hospitality State, we mean that every which way and the flag shows that,” Lyons said.
The final flag is a combination of several proposed designs with elements added by the flag commission.
The only requirement set forth by the legislature was having the phrase “In God We Trust.”
“I think this is an excellent, excellent look for what we had previously, and this is a good look for the state of Mississippi,” said Michael Daniels, owner of the Almanett Hotel and Bistro. "I can see an increase of conversation, as well as an increase of business and traffic, and I think that’s just a small representation of what’s to come for Mississippi.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce is encouraging members to support the flag and is offering yard signs to show that support
“We have a flag, now let’s see if people are willing to accept it. It seems most people are,” Lyons said.
“It speaks volumes that we are finally able to have an alternative that I look forward to supporting on Nov. 3,” Daniels said.