State legislators officially retired the design, which featured a Confederate emblem in its upper left corner, on July 1, becoming the last state in the country to remove Confederate symbolism from its flag.
MS voters overwhelming approved a new state flag on Election Day, endorsing a blue field with gold and red vertical bars design, centered with a white magnolia flower ringed with stars and the words "In God We Trust".
The magnolia flag was the only design on the general ballot, and voters were asked to say yes or no. A majority said yes.
The rebel symbol is widely seen as racist.
The new MS flag has the state flower on a dark blue background with red stripes on both ends.
MS has approved a new design for their state flag. The phrase "In God We Trust", with a solitary gold five-point star at its peak, representing the Native tribes who first inhabited MS before it was colonized. For decades, that flag was divisive in a state with a significant Black population, now about 38%.
A majority of voters chose to keep the flag in a 2001 election, but several cities and counties and all of Mississippi's public universities had stopped flying it because of the Confederate symbol.
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"The story of the MS state flag provides a window into how false narratives about history-particularly in the American South-are sustained", Eubanks explained for the New Yorker.
Instead, legislators would have tried again with a new design. At the ceremony, Reeves said, "This is not a political moment to me, but a solemn occasion to lead our MS family to come together, to be reconciled and to move on". If the vote had failed, a new option would have been presented in 2021; the old flag would not have returned.
Joan Martin, 79, a retired Picayune registered nurse, said she voted for the new science because, "I had no choice".
"That old flag to me represented a lot of rebelism, you know, the good old boys", said Taderell Lamont Roberts, 48, of Picayune.
Taderell Lamont Roberts, 48, of Picayune, bears his middle name, which is written on the name label on his Heritage Plastics work shirt, where he works as a foreman.
Cotten, who is Black, said she was indifferent to the old flag. "It's just what we had". "But I am glad it is time for a change".
If voters had rejected the magnolia flag, the committee would have designed another flag that still could not include the symbol of the Confederacy and must include "In God we trust". The design won with over 70 percent of the vote across the state.