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Mississippi State FlagMississippi State Flag

Adopted in 1894.

The flag of the State of Mississippi was adopted by the U.S. state of Mississippi in 1894, replacing the flag that had been adopted in 1861.

It is the sole remaining U.S. state flag which bears the Confederate battle flag's saltire, after Georgia adopted a new flag in 2001.

The Mississippi State Flag

History of Mississippi Flag

1861 Mississippi State Flag: The Magnolia Flag (1861-1894)

When Mississippi seceded from the Union on January 9, 1861, near the beginning of the Civil War, the Bonnie Blue Flag (a single white star on a blue field) was raised over the capitol building in Jackson as a sign of independence. On January 26, Mississippi officially adopted a new flag which included the Bonnie Blue Flag in its canton and a magnolia tree in its center field. Known as the Magnolia Flag, it remained in use until 1894, when the current flag was adopted.

1894 Mississippi State Flag

In 1894 a new flag was adopted by the Mississippi Legislature in a Special Session. Mississippi Code, Title 3, Chapter 3 describes the flag as follows:

§ 3-3-16. Design of state flag. The official flag of the State of Mississippi shall have the following design: with width two-thirds (2/3) of its length; with the union (canton) to be square, in width two-thirds (2/3) of the width of the flag; the ground of the union to be red and a broad blue saltire thereon, bordered with white and emblazoned with thirteen (13) mullets or five-pointed stars, corresponding with the number of the original States of the Union; the field to be divided into three (3) bars of equal width, the upper one blue, the center one white, and the lower one, extending the whole length of the flag, red (the national colors); this being the flag adopted by the Mississippi Legislature in the 1894 Special Session

2001 Mississippi Flag Referendum

The committee to design a State Flag was appointed by legislative action February 7, 1894, and provided that the flag reported by the committee should become the official flag.

The committee recommended for the flag "one with width two-thirds of its length; with the union square, in width two-thirds of the width of the flag; the ground of the union to be red and a broad blue saltier thereon, bordered with white and emblazoned with thirteen (13) mullets or five-pointed stars, corresponding with the number of the original States of the Union; the field to be divided into three bars of equal width, the upper one blue, the center one white, and the lower one extending the whole length of the flag.

Representative Timothy Alan Ford, 18th District and Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives, introduced House Bill 524 to provide for a statewide special election to choose a design for the Mississippi State Flag. This statewide election shall be held on Tuesday, April 17, 2001. The voters will be asked to vote for the 1894 State Flag design (current design) or a "proposed new state flag design". This new design replaces the canton of the 1894 design (red ground with blue saltire) with a blue canton featuring 20 stars in a concentric arrangement. This bill has been approved by the legislature and signed by the Governor of Mississippi. 488,630 to 267,812.

Voters in Mississippi on Tuesday, April 17, 2001, Mississippians voted overwhelmingly chose to continue flying a 107-year old state banner that prominently displays the Confederate battle cross, bucking a trend toward stripping the racially divisive emblem from public venues in the South.

In a state where the legacy of segregation still haunts like a restless ghost, Tuesday's vote was seen by many as an opportunity to reconcile Mississippi's racist past and allow the state to take Its place among others representing a New South.

But despite an expensive campaign to convince residents that the old state flag could thwart social and economic progress in Mississippi, voters turned out in larger than expected numbers against a proposal to replace the 1894 flag, with its Confederate emblem of 13 white stars on a blue X. The rejected design would have replaced the cross with a circle of 20 white stars, denoting Mississippi's role as the 20th state.

Pledge to The Flag

I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence in her future under the guidance of Almighty God.
Reference Miss. Code Ann., Section 37-13-7(1972)

Mississippi Flag Law

Mississippi Code, Title 3, Chapter 3

TITLE 3. STATE SOVEREIGNTY, JURISDICTION AND HOLIDAYS.
CHAPTER 3. STATE BOUNDARIES, HOLIDAYS, AND STATE EMBLEMS.

§ 3-3-15. Display of state flag.

The state flag may be displayed from all public buildings from sunrise to sunset; however, the state flag may be displayed from all public buildings twenty-four (24) hours a day if properly illuminated. The state flag should not be displayed when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed. The state flag shall receive all of the respect and ceremonious etiquette given the American flag. Provided, however, nothing in this section shall be construed so as to affect the precedence given to the flag of the United States of America.

Sources: Codes, 1942, § 6216-08.5; Laws, 1962, ch. 492, § 1-3; Laws, 1984, ch. 357, eff from and after passage (approved April 16, 1984).

§ 3-3-16. Design of state flag.

The official flag of the State of Mississippi shall have the following design: with width two-thirds (2/3) of its length; with the union (canton) to be square, in width two-thirds (2/3) of the width of the flag; the ground of the union to be red and a broad blue saltire thereon, bordered with white and emblazoned with thirteen (13) mullets or five-pointed stars, corresponding with the number of the original States of the Union; the field to be divided into three (3) bars of equal width, the upper one blue, the center one white, and the lower one, extending the whole length of the flag, red (the national colors); this being the flag adopted by the Mississippi Legislature in the 1894 Special Session.

Sources: Laws, 2001, ch. 301, § 2, eff from and after February 7, 2001 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the addition of this section.)

 

State Flags
State Flags
The flags of the US states exhibit a wide variety of regional influences and local histories, as well as widely different styles and design principles.
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