On Wednesday, the commission tasked with designing a new state flag voted for “The New Magnolia” flag as the final design for voters to consider on the ballot. If voters in November reject the flag, the commission will have to go back to the drawing board.
The commission picked the flag over another finalist, “The Great River Flag,” which featured a shield that draws inspiration from Mississippi’s 1798 Territorial Seal.
“The New Magnolia Flag” features a white magnolia blossom surrounded by a circle of 20 stars, representing Mississippi’s status as the 20th US state.
The flower is fitting for the Southern state. Mississippi is nicknamed the Magnolia State and the magnolia is the state flower and tree.
The commission on Wednesday also voted to brand the flag the “In God We Trust” flag.
The magnolia flag represents Mississippi’s “forward progression” and “sense of hope and rebirth” since the magnolia blooms more than once and has a long blooming season, according to a description of the design on the Mississippi Department of Archives and History website.
At the top of the circle of 20 stars is a gold five-point star to reflect Mississippi’s indigenous Native American tribes.
Each of the flag’s colors also holds meaning.
The blue background is an echo of the American flag, “representing vigilance, justice, perseverance.” The red bands at each end of the flag symbolize “hardiness and valor.”
The flag’s gold stripes and magnolia flower’s gold stamen are a “nod to the rich cultural history of Mississippi, specifically the visual arts, literature, music, and performing arts to originate in our state.”
The final design was submitted on Wednesday to Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves and the Mississippi Legislature.