Mississippi voters approved a new state flag on Election Day. Many hope it will unite the state

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SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — On Election Night, voters in Mississippi chose a new state flag with a magnolia flower and the phrase “In God we trust.”

The Mississippi flag has been a topic of debate for years People across the state said if the new flag can unite them as a state, then they can accept the change.

“You can’t please everyone but if you can please the majority and everyone get along and be happier with that, I am perfectly ok with it,” Rusty Neeley, a former Mississippi resident, said.

For the first time since the 1890’s, Mississippi will fly a new state flag without the confederate symbol. During the election, more than 70-percent of voters voted in favor of the new flag.

The design was the only option on the ballot and voters could only choose yes or no. The state has been without a flag since June when legislators voted to remove the former flag that showcased the confederate emblem, a symbol that has been viewed as controversial across the state for decades.

Neely said though she grew up with the former flag, she is accepting of a new one and is hopeful it will be a symbol that finally unites the state.

“People want tradition and that’s fine and everything and I totally respect that,” Neely said. “But I respect that sometimes we need to move on and come up with something new that is more inclusive of everyone.”

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