MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Just over two months after the Mississippi Legislature voted to change the state’s flag, a new design has been decided to present to voters this November.
A flag bearing the Mississippi state flower, the magnolia, and 21 stars, representing the 20th state of the union and the Native Americans who were here first, is heading to the voters for the final say.
“This is not going to be a slam dunk. This is going to be a fight,” Chair of the Millsaps College Department of Government and Politics Nathan Shrader said.
Shrader said this final design will be on November’s ballot. If it does not get a majority vote the process will start over.
While the Mississippi Flag Commission’s final vote Wednesday did not include much discussion about why commissioners were going to vote one way or the other, only one commissioner voted for the opposing flag -- The Great River design.
“Meanwhile, you have the tried and true Magnolia symbol which is more traditional and could extend across generations,” Shrader said.
The Commission also voted to rebrand the New Magnolia flag as the “In God We Trust” flag, which Shrader said puts opponents of changing the flag in a tough spot.
There is a growing movement to vote against any design with the hope to get a flag similar to the original one which bared the Confederate battle emblem.
“It’s wise branding to call this formally the ’In God We Trust’ flag,” Shrader said. “It puts the opponents back on their heels that they have to openly campaign against the ’In God We Trust’ flag.”
“[Mississippi has] always been on the bottom. On November 3rd I think that will take a change,” Mississippi Flag Commission’s Chairman Rueben Anderson said.
While there was some debate on what the final Magnolia design should look like, including font and number of stars, Anderson said this day is more symbolic than a flag.
“My children and grandchildren will see us ascend,” Anderson said. “It will happen because of what you have done, to bring this great object to the people of Mississippi to vote on.”