JACKSON, Miss. — The flag committee in Mississippi decided Wednesday on the final design to put on the ballot in November.
Mississippi is getting a new state flag and is retiring the old confederate battle emblem. Over the last several years, there has been an ongoing debate about changing the state flag, now it is finally coming to fruition. Many considered it a monumental day for Mississippi.
Justice Reuben Anderson, the first African American to serve on the highest court in the state, said Mississippi is on the track to a brighter future.
“I grew up in Mississippi in the ’40s and ’50s,” Anderson said. “All of my life, Mississippi has been at the bottom. We’ve always been on the bottom. On November 3rd, I think that’ll take a change.”
Over the years, Anderson saw his home state of Mississippi fall to the bottom in various categories ranging from income, health, and education just to name a few. But, he believes this new flag represents a change for his state. He said this moment is big. Additionally, he said the state has a lot to offer, so he believes it is only great things that lie ahead for the Magnolia State.
“There’s no reason for us to be on the bottom,” Anderson said. “We’ll be on the bottom, all of my lifetime, but my children and grandchildren will see us ascend. And it will happen because of what you have done.”
Anderson said the state has a lot of rich culture from musicians to poets. Additionally, he said the natural resources like 90 miles of beaches along the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River are a great attraction. He said he is excited because this new flag will unite the state and put its past behind and turn towards the future.
He is not the only one to feel this way. Others on the committee said they feel the same way, as they watch the number of ideas and designs go from thousands to hundreds, to now two.
Robyn Tannehill, a member of the Mississippi Flag Commission, said she wishes both flags could be on the ballot to give Mississippians more options.
“I feel like we should have had both on the ballot,” Tannehill said. “I know it’s not the way the legislation was written, but I do believe that Mississippians deserved the opportunity to choose between two.”
If voters accept the design chosen by the commissioners, it will become the new Mississippi flag. If they reject it, the commission will find a new design to go on the ballot later.