Posted on November 2, 2020

Mississippi Voters to Decide on New Flag Design

Cameron McWhirter, Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2020

Mississippi voters will decide Tuesday whether to adopt a new state flag, following the legislature’s move this summer to retire the old state flag that bore a large Confederate battle emblem, the last state flag to do so.

After Black Lives Matter protests around the country this summer, the Republican-dominated legislature voted by a wide margin to change the state’s flag after 126 years. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves quickly signed the bill into law and the old state flag was taken down from state property.

The law set up a commission to pick a new flag with the requirement that it bore the words “In God We Trust.” The commission received thousands of submissions and chose a flag that bears a magnolia flower surrounded by stars.

Under the law, people will vote for or against the new flag; but either way, the old state flag won’t return. If voters reject the magnolia design, the state flag commission will have to find another option to offer to voters.

Mississippi politicians had debated the old state flag for years. This year, businesses like Walmart Inc., sports groups like the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Black activists and others pushed to have the Confederate emblem removed from the state flag. {snip}