Election Day may not have concluded with an outright answer on who would take the White House, but voters in at least one state were able to decisively declare the winner of another major campaign. While voting for the president, the citizens of Mississippi were also selecting a new design to replace the state's previous flag that prominently featured a Confederate emblem, which is widely considered to be a hate symbol. The change comes after public pressure amid the Black Lives Matter protests brought state lawmakers to vote in June to replace the longstanding Mississippi state flag.
The new design, known as "the New Magnolia Flag," will soon be flying over the state. But there were several requirements that had to be met for it to get this far. Read on to see the new Mississippi state flag, and for another major pivot, check out This State Just Voted to Change Its Name Because of Slavery Associations.
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The new Mississippi state flag will prominently feature the state flower.
The new design completely overhauls the look of the official flag, pairing red, gold, and blue stripes with a prominently featured magnolia, the Mississippi state flower. The flower is also encircled by 20 stars, which represent Mississippi's status as the 20th state admitted to the Union.
It also includes a solitary gold five-point star at the top of the circle, which represents the Native tribes who lived on the land that became Mississippi. The phrase "In God We Trust," which fills in the bottom of the circle of stars, was included as a requirement set by Gov. Tate Reeves, NBC News reports.
In a statement, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History said that the new design "represents Mississippi's sense of hope and rebirth, as the magnolia often blooms more than once and has a long blooming season." They also added that it was "sleek and updated to represent the forward progression of Mississippi." And for more changes that've been made since the Black Lives Matter protests began, check out 12 TV Shows That Have Had Episodes Pulled Because of Blackface.
The Mississippi flag's designer was inspired by historic designs from the state.
Once lawmakers decided that it was time for the state to replace the 120-year-old Mississippi flag, Reeves assigned a nine-person commission to oversee the process. After collecting 3,000 submissions, the final designs all came together based on the groups' input, but the finished work is credited to Mississippi-based designer Rocky Vaughan, who used inspiration from the state's first flag from the 1860s that prominently featured a magnolia tree, Quartz reports.
"I think what I did was give the basic ingredients," Vaughn said to local news outlet WAPT. He also explained that while he's happy to be credited as the new Mississippi state flag's designer, there are still certain touches his keen eye would change. "I like the red against the blue," he said. "I'm about looks. What looks like Mississippi?" And for more emblems that states are proud of, check out The Strangest Thing You Didn't Know Represents Your State.
The new Mississippi flag design won by a wide margin
Mississippians headed to the polls on Nov. 3 to cast their vote for the design on Ballot Measure 3, known as the State Flag Referendum. The simple yes-or-no measure received 72 percent support when votes were counted, ensuring that the new flag could move forward for approval from state lawmakers during their next legislative session, according to NBC News. And for more states that made big changes on Election Day, check out These States Just Voted in Favor of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana.
The new Mississippi flag is already popular beyond the ballot box.
While the flag hasn't been officially adopted by the state legislature, the design has already made the rounds on the internet—and has spurred many online to preorder the new banner, the Clarion Ledger reports.
"Mississippi voters sent a message to the world that we are moving forward together," Reuben Anderson, the flag commission chair and the first African American person to serve on the Mississippi Supreme Court, said in a statement. "I have a renewed sense of hope for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and I know this new symbol creates better prospects for the entire state of Mississippi." And for more state facts, check out The One Burning Question People Have About Your State.