Precedent: Since 1949 this evocative symbol has appeared on Mississippi historic plaques, found now in every community. Why not on our flag as well?
The FLOWER, not the TREE
From 1861 to 1894 the Mississippi flag included a stylised magnolia TREE plus the Bonnie Blue star - a symbol of the Confederacy. The flower itself has no negatives.
Its beautiful glossy foliage and huge, fragrant flowers are instantly recognizable worldwide, and it is native to every Mississippi county.
Since 1949 its image has been on the official historic markers around the state, courtesy of our state Department of Archives and History.
Oversized Magnolia flower sculpture in the oldest botanic garden in Europe
Because of its citrusy bouquet, every time our children see and smell Magnolias - anywhere on Earth - they will be reminded of and transported back to their childhood homes in Mississippi.
Magnolias are planted worldwide for their beauty and bold flowers
WHAT WOULD BE MORE RECOGNIZABLE THAN THIS BOLD, ANCIENT FLOWER CELEBRATED PROUDLY ON THE MAGNOLIA STATE'S FLAG?
Painted by artists for over 400 years.
And what could more boldly and instantly symbolize - to our people, nation, and world - the strength, beauty, and rich natural heritage of Mississippi - the Magnolia State - than our official state flower, the magnificent native Magnolia grandiflora?
THE TIDE TURNED...
TIME TO MOVE FORWARD
On 29th June 2020, our legislators voted for the Mississippi state flag to be redesigned. We now have a rare opportunity to look forward with something beautiful and distinctive that says something about our culture and natural history.
BUILD ON OUR EXISTING MARKETING COLLATERAL
This is a WONDERFUL opportunity to extend our state's positive image!
Unlike other states whose flags include complicated logos and state seals, a magnolia flower would be instantly recognized nationwide and a source of pride for all our citizens - think the Lone Star of Texas and the Palmetto of South Carolina, which give their citizens pride wherever they see it.
And a prehistoric magnolia flower is simple enough for children to draw!
Over the years, artists have created several magnolia motifs still used widely across Mississippi on historic signs, car tags, and commercial applications. But keep in mind that, to read well on both large and small scales, a great flag design should be bold, uncluttered, and mostly or entirely wordless (though our legislature has mandated that "In God We Trust" be including in the design).
Magnolia is one of the boldest flowering trees on our planet...
...and it's native to Mississippi!
Interesting facts about our State Floral Emblem:
So when decision time comes around, we should have a right to make our choice of what proudly and without question represents everyone in the Magnolia State - THE MAGNOLIA FLOWER!
Main thing is, please consider this simple concept - if you agree it is worth sharing, please forward this to friends, garden club members, Master Gardeners, media contacts, and other influencers!
If you would like to contact me, please email RushingFelder@yahoo.com. But remember, I am a non-partisan, proud Son of Mississippi - my pioneer Felder, Rushing, and Swayze ancestors were here long before we were a state; I am simply looking for a new way forward for us all - so please be nice.