On Tuesday, Mississippi voters approved a new state flag design to replace the last U.S. flag to include an image of the Confederate battle flag.

The new flag includes an image of a magnolia flower encircled by 20 stars (representing Mississippi as the 20th state) and the words “In God We Trust.”

The previous state flag, adopted in 1894, featured blue and white stripes and a Confederate emblem in the corner. Several cities and counties and all of Mississippi’s public universities had stopped flying it because of the Confederate symbol, and it was retired last summer as national protests against racial injustice swept the country.

The law retiring the old flag specified any new design could not include the Confederate symbol, but must include the words “In God We Trust.”

A commission was set up to review proposed designs and select a winner which was voted on yesterday. If it had not been approved, the process would have started all over again.

But the magnolia design prevailed.

Nearly 3,000 designs were submitted by the public to the commission, including wacky designs featuring a teddy bear and Kermit the Frog. Hilariously, a design featuring a giant mosquito almost made it to the semifinals – although officials later said it was because of a “typo.”


The mosquito flag designer, Thomas Rosete, who works as a deckhand on the Yazoo River, said he first submitted the design as a joke.

I believe people from all backgrounds can get behind this and raise it proudly,” Rosete, 26, told the Clarion Ledger of Jackson. “I said something like that in the (submission) email. And now I actually do believe that.”
“The mosquitoes, it’s their state, we’re just living in it,” he added.
However, it was not to be.

The commission eventually had two finalists: the winning magnolia design and another featuring a shield.

The red-and-white shield design featured a dark blue background with wavy lines at the top representing water.

The winning magnolia design is a combination of submissions from five people.

Graphic designer Rocky Vaughan of Ackerman, Miss., who created the flag’s overall design said “What I wanted to do was show every Mississippian that there’s a compromise out there, and we are the magnolia state.”

And indeed it is. Everyone happy now?

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