I’ve never been a fan of Mississippi’s state flag. The confederate symbol in the top corner has no present relevance to the state and limits the state’s potential.
I’ve seen quite a few proposed designs for a new flag that are overly complex. Some of the designs of magnolias and magnolia trees even feel a little juvenile or clip-artish. One has several words that are unnecessary on a flag.
For me, a flag needs to have symbolism that represents the positive and key aspects of a state’s history; it needs to represent the past without reveling in the horrible history of segregation and slavery. It also needs to be easy to remember.
If a five year old can’t draw the flag from memory, it’s a failure.
Here’s my proposed design for a new flag for Mississippi.
The Outer Ring
The outer circle of stars represents the thirteen colonies that formed our Union. The 13 stars also represent our time in the Confederacy without referencing a hateful symbol that stirs pain for many US citizens. While I don’t want to celebrate the Confederacy, it is a part of our history.
The 13 states that made up the Confederate States of America were North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri. Kentucky and Missouri never officially seceded from the Union. However, they were recognized by the Confederacy and were represented by two stars on the Confederate flag.
The Inner Ring
The inner ring of six stars represents the six nations that have had sovereignty over the Mississippi territory (various Native American nations as a collective nation, French Empire, Spanish Empire, Great Britain, the United States and the Confederate States).
The Single Star and Five Points
The single star represents the state—as an individual but also a part of a larger history—and is the center of the flag.
The single star also represents the five diverse regions of Mississippi
The twenty stars represent Mississippi as the 20th state to join the union.
The red, white, and blue are taken from Mississippi (which are also referenced in the Choctaw’s flag) and US flags. White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.
Note: Many of these concepts are not unique. There have been many proposals for the state’s flag. For example, the circle of stars was once proposed to replace the Confederate flag found on the current flag. I’ve added additional meaning to the central star. I’ve also attempted to keep some historical reference to our days as a Confederate state without attempting to glamorize them. We cannot simply erase those years, but that doesn’t mean we have to honor relics of the past that trigger pain for US citizens. With this proposed design, I hope to provide a solution for those desiring a new flag without a divisive symbol, and a solution for those that desire a flag that represents Mississippi’s heritage and history (good and bad). This new approach marries what I think has worked in the current flag and several flags that have been proposed in the past.