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New Mississippi Flag Will Be One of These 2

It's come down to a shield or a magnolia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 26, 2020 2:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – As Mississippi replaces its former flag that had the Confederate battle emblem, five proposals were literally run up a flagpole Tuesday. A group then narrowed the choice to two designs: One with a shield and one with a magnolia. “When you fly a flag up a flagpole, it sure does look different than it does on paper,” said the chairman of the nine-member flag commission, former state Supreme Court Justice Reuben Anderson. Commissioners will choose a single design next week, and that will go on the Nov. 3 ballot for voters to accept or reject, the AP reports. By law, the old flag with the Confederate battle emblem is not an option, and the replacement cannot have the emblem that's widely condemned as racist. Legislators also mandated that the new flag include the phrase, “In God We Trust.”

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Each of the final designs contains a single star made of diamond shapes to represent the Native American people who lived in Mississippi before others arrived. The magnolia design has 21 stars, with one representing the Choctaws, Chickasaws and other tribes, and the others representing Mississippi as the 20th state. If a majority of those voting in the November election accept the lone design, it will become the new state flag. If they reject it, the design process will begin again and another design will go on the ballot later. The final five designs were: the shield with wavy lines representing water; one with the Mississippi River snaking along the state's western border, plus a magnolia blossom; one with a magnolia blossom on a white background; one with the magnolia blossom on a dark blue background; and one with a stylized magnolia tree.

(Read more Mississippi stories.)

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