A Mississippi state commission has selected a final version of a new state flag to be presented to voters for approval on the November ballot after the state's previous flag was retired earlier this year.
The commission moved Wednesday to select the "New Magnolia Flag," which features a blossom from the magnolia tree, Mississippi's iconic state tree. The final contender rejected by the commission on Wednesday, "The Great River Flag," featured depicted a shield with red and white stripes as well as a symbol representing the Mississippi River.
Voters will have a chance to approve the final version in November; the previous state flag, which featured an image of the Confederate flag, was retired in June amid nationwide protests over the deaths of Black Americans during encounters with police.
“Our flag should reflect the beauty and good in all of us. It should represent a state that deserves a positive image,” said Rocky Vaughan, designer of the Magnolia Flag, in a statement released by the state Department of Archives and History.
“The New Magnolia Flag represents the warmth and strength of the good people of Mississippi. Now is the time we show the world that we’re from Mississippi, the Magnolia State," he added.
Katie Blount, the agency's director, added in the statement that she was pleased to see the volume of public responses during the process.
“MDAH was proud to support the Flag Commission in its historic work,” she said. “We were especially gratified to see the public engage so significantly in the process. The commissioners worked hard, listening to the experts and to the people, and they came up with a great design to present to voters on November 3.”