Flag designers, residents react to final five flag designs

Flag commission selects final five designs

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Mississippi is another step closer to a final choice for the next state flag design. The commission narrowed the designs to five Tuesday.

We asked a few folks what they thought of the final five flag designs.

“I love the magnolia but I just love magnolias,” said Gayle Matherne.

“I like the one with the shield on it,” noted Anne Miller. “I don’t know why. It just jumped out and grabbed me.”

“It actually has part of our state in it and then the flower... I love magnolias,” said Tenisha Luckett Burks.

None of them had studied up on any symbolism but the designers of two of the flags say there was a lot of thought that went into it.

The Great River flag is what this one’s being called and received the most votes in the initial public poll. Micah Whitson is a designer by trade. He’s originally Alabama, went to Ole Miss for five years and now lives in Boston.

“I had seen a territorial seal that was made in 1798 that was brought down to the Mississippi territory,” said Whitson. “I wanted to start there and kind of build off it. Kind of messing with it, wanted to represent the Mississippi River. You know, of course, that’s the physical, economic and cultural boundary of the state.”

He also started a public branding campaign early on.

“Design doesn’t come without context,” explained Whitson. “You have to set the proper stage for people to see how they would kind of interact with things and kind of feel them.”

Greg Murphy calls this design the Mississippi Bloom flag.

“We wanted a blue background to represent the Mississippi River,” described Murphy. “A few petals and magnolias at the top to represent the past, present and future.”

Murphy’s parents are from the Oxford/Water Valley area but he lives in the Dayton, Ohio area. He feels a connection to the state and wanted to give it a shot with his idea.

“Our goal was to help Mississippi be something that it hasn’t been for a long time and that’s welcoming,” added Murphy.

The five final designs will be made into flags that the commission will see fly on the flag pole outside of the Old Capitol on August 25. They’ll make their final selection for the one that will appear on November’s ballot on September 2.

To vote in the updated non-binding poll, click HERE.

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