Mississippi will fly a new state flag with a magnolia and the phrase "In God We Trust," with voters approving the design Tuesday. It replaces a Confederate-themed flag state lawmakers retired months ago as part of the national reckoning over racial injustice. The magnolia flag was the only design on the general election ballot, and voters were asked to say yes or no. A majority said yes. Legislators will have to put the design into law, but they are expected to do that with little fuss because they already did the hard work of retiring a flag that some people wanted to keep, the AP reports. Mississippi has been without a flag since late June, when legislators surrendered the last state banner in the US that included the Confederate battle emblem—a red field topped by a blue X with 13 white stars.
The new Mississippi flag has the state flower on a dark blue background with red bars on either end. The magnolia is encircled by stars representing Mississippi as the 20th state. The flag also has a single star made of diamond shapes representing the Native American people who lived on the land before others arrived. For decades, the flag was divisive in a state with a significant Black population, currently about 38%. A majority of voters chose to keep the flag in a 2001 election, but several cities and counties and all of Mississippi’s public universities had stopped flying it because of the Confederate symbol. The law retiring the old flag specified that the new one could not include the Confederate battle emblem and must have "In God We Trust."
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