Worst thing is, on the Stennis Flag website the designer proudly admits that the large central star is a color-inverted "Bonnie Blue" symbol of the Secessionist years when Mississippi was part of the Confederate States of America - which is exactly what we are trying to get AWAY from on our more inclusive state flag!
There are quite a few people with great ideas on various flag designs that could incorporate the magnolia flower, but keep in mind that a great flag design is uncluttered, mostly or entirely wordless, realistic enough to be instantly recognizable - think the Lone Star of Texas, and the Palmetto of South Carolina - and simple enough for school children to draw!
NOTE: A Jackson artist has recently begun promoting her proposed flag with a circle of 19 small stars and a single large star, representing the obscure fact that we were the 20th state admitted to the United States. In spite of the big, expensive effort behind getting this generic approach out in public, it is mostly seen as an "anything is better than what we have now" place setting until the people of Mississippi are offered a choice - which we deserve.
This flag, just like a very similar one (also with 20 stars) we rejected during our last flag referendum, says NOTHING about who we are as Mississippians... except that we were the 20th state and still celebrate a divisive period from our long gone past. This attitude should not fly.
So when decision time comes around, demand our right to make our choice of what proudly and without question represents everyone in the Magnolia State - THE MAGNOLIA FLOWER!
We are currently working towards developing a simple, bold Magnolia flower flag - if you are interested in helping out, please send ideas or your contact information to the email below.e
Main thing is, please consider this simple concept - and if you agree it is worth sharing, please do so with friends, legislators, garden club members, Master Gardeners, media contacts, and other influencers!
If you would like to contact me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. But remember, I am an utterly non-partisan, proud Native Son - my Felder, Rushing, and Swayze ancestors were here long before we were a state; I am simply looking for a new way for us all - so please be nice.
Its beautiful glossy foliage and huge, fragrant flowers are instantly recognizable worldwide, and it is native to every county of Mississippi. Since 1949 its image has been on the official historic markers around the state, courtesy of our state Department of Archives and History.
From 1861 to 1894 there was a Mississippi flag with a magnolia TREE... but it was originally used in battle by Mississippians because it included the Bonnie Blue flag (white star, blue background) - a symbol of Secession and the Confederacy and therefore not acceptable by today's standards.
But wait - didn't we used to have a state flag with a magnolia tree?
WHAT WOULD BE BETTER AND MORE MEANINGFUL
THAN HAVING THIS FLOWER - in one form or another - CELEBRATED PROUDLY ON OUR STATE FLAG?
THE TIDE HAS TURNED. IT'S TIME TO MOVE FORWARD.
There is no longer time for politics, or for rattling our heritage and tradition sabers, or for "appeasement" or any of those other looking-back arguments. Like it or not, by all accounts - including how our state flag is refused display EVERYWHERE, from our nation's capitol to our college campuses - the tide has turned on all that.
WE NEED a state flag that's proud, bold, beautiful, inclusive - and distinctive.
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? It's perfect.