JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A group recommending a new Mississippi state flag has chosen five final designs — three with a magnolia blossom, one with a magnolia tree and one with a shield that has wavy lines representing water.
Mississippi legislators recently retired the last state flag with the Confederate battle emblem that’s condemned as racist. By law, the new design cannot have the Confederate emblem and must have “In God We Trust.”
Mississippi was the 20th state, admitted into the Union in 1817, but the finalist designs have 21 stars to include the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and other indigenous people.
After getting hundreds of submissions, the flag comission narrowed the field to nine designs and asked the public to weigh in via an online vote. Commission Chairman Reuben Anderson noted Tuesday that more than 48,000 people voted, according to MississippiToday.com.
“That shows Mississippians have a tremendous amount of interest in what we’re doing,” Anderson said. “We’re not going to disappoint them. We will put forth the greatest flag we can have.”
The five final designs will be made into flags, and those will be flown Aug. 25 in Jackson. The Mississippi Flag Commission will decide on a single flag design in early September to put on the November ballot.