Mississippi Votes To Replace Controversial Confederate State Flag
Mississippi has voted to replace its 126-year-old flag in the hopes of demonstrating how the state has progressed.
Originally, the state held a confederate symbol on its flag, something which was used by forces during the American civil war.
It was later adopted far-right groups, and has continued to be considered as a symbol of white supremacy ever since.
With this in mind, Mississippi held a poll for people to chose what they would like the current flag to be replaced with. A design by Rocky Vaughan, featuring a magnolia flower, emerged as the most popular. His was picked the winner out of 3,000 submissions, NBC News reports.
Vaughan’s design, named ‘The New Magnolia’, is navy blue and red with gold stripes and a white magnolia in the centre, circled by 20 stars. At the base of the circle there is the quote, ‘In God We Trust’.
According to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the flower is ‘a symbol long-used to represent our state and the hospitality of our citizens’.
It added that it hopes the state’s ‘sleek and updated’ new flag will ‘represent the forward progression of Mississippi’, as well as the state’s ‘sense of hope and rebirth, as the Magnolia often blooms more than once and has a long blooming season’.
A previous vote to replace the flag was held in 2001, but the majority of Mississippi residents chose to keep the old design with the confederate flag. However, through racial justice campaigns such as the Black Lives Matter movement in recent months, the idea to replace the flag came to light once again, and was this time voted to be replaced.
It was the state’s lawmakers that chose to replace the flag following a vote in June, but it was a public referendum which saw ‘The New Magnolia’ chosen as the new state flag.
If Vaughan’s design wasn’t picked, Mississippi wouldn’t have gone back to its original design; the state would reportedly have put forward a different one in the new year in the hopes of its residents favouring that one instead.
While changing the flag is a positive move, Governor Tate Reeves said it won’t end the state’s division. Reeves told NBC News, ‘We must find a way to come together. To heal our wounds, to forgive, to resolve that a page has been turned, to trust each other. With God’s help, we can.’
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