The current official Mississippi state flag was first hoisted on April 23, 1894, though there had been other flag designs in use since 1540 when the Spanish first invaded the state. The flag is a national symbol and the design has a specific meaning and represents both the history and the future of the state.
Design and Features of the Flag
Although the name of the person who designed the Mississippi State flag is not documented, the flag came into being through a legislative act where the law mandated that the state should have own flag. The flag has three equal horizontal stripes; the lower stripe is red, the middle one is white, and blue is on the upper part, running parallel to each other. On the left top side is a red square canton with two blue stripes running across with a white border. Across the canton are thirteen stars which are five-pointed. The flag’s length to width is in the ratio of 3:2.
The red color on the flag represents the brave and bold citizens who have the toughness and ability to endure. The blue color is a symbol of surveillance, justice, and persistence. The white color symbolizes peace and harmony. By combining the three colors, the Mississippi state advocated for freedom and seizure of new power independently, at the same time remaining in solidarity with the United States. The thirteen stars represent the first Confederate states that were initially united to form the US. The St. Andrew’s cross of the canton is in remembrance of a saint who was martyred as he preached peace.
History of the Flag
The first banner was called the Bonnie Blue Flag which was in use before 1861. It was a rectangular shaped blue banner with a white five-pointed star in the middle. Between 1861 and 1865, the Magnolia Flag had a magnolia tree at the center and was hoisted until 1894 when the current design was adopted and used in times of the Civil War. In February 1894, a bill was passed tasking a committee to come up with a design for the state flag. The new design was immediately adopted.
In 2001, the sitting Governor Ronnie Musgrove mandated a commission to come up with a new flag design as some Americans perceived the current flag as a symbol of discrimination and hatred. The proposed design replaced the blue square canton with twenty stars in which the small outer stars were to present the initial thirteen states while the six stars would symbolize the six nations that once ruled the Mississippi people and a huge star in the middle representing the Mississippi state itself. However, when a referendum was held, the new design was rejected, leading to the state retaining the initial flag design of 1894.
How Is the Flag Used?
The Mississippi State flag is used during official functions and displayed appropriately in all public offices from the sunrise to the sunset and at full mast. If for some valid reasons it is to be displayed for 24 hours, then proper lighting should be provided for visibility of the flag. The flag can be raised half-mast only in periods of mourning or when there is an event deemed necessary by the state to raise it halfway.