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State flag design chosen to appear on November ballots
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Flag commissioners clap as the "In God We Trust Flag" is chosen
Kobee Vance, MPB News

A final state flag design has been chosen and Mississippians will soon vote on its adoption.



A flag with a Magnolia has been selected to appear on the November ballot for Mississippians to approve. A commission voted 8 to 1 for the design Wednesday after weeks of debate over nearly three thousand options. Former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Reuben Anderson chairs the commission. "We'll be on the bottom for all of my lifetime, but my children and grandchildren will see us ascend, and it will happen because of what you have done to bring this great object to the people of Mississippi to vote on," says Judge Anderson.

Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill served as one of the nine commissioners and has close ties to the final flag design. She says she's excited that it was selected, and believes it represents everyone in the state. "From the colors to the different elements from the magnolia, to "In God We Trust", the number of stars, the first star for our Native Americans, I think that it's a star that represents the first citizens of our state, and I think that this is a flag that everyone can unite under," says Tannehill.

Pastor CJ Rhodes of Mount Helm Baptist Church in Jackson was an outspoken supporter of changing the state flag. He says the old flag was used as a symbol of hate, and this new design will be much more inclusive. "And hopefully it will represent a new day not only for African Americans but so many white and other persons who have advanced in many ways," says Rhodes. "I'm also glad that we have the native peoples, first nation is represented in this flag. They're often ignored in our history. So this will be a flag that I think will represent all Mississippians."

If the majority of Mississippians vote yes the state will have a new flag, but if rejected the process will start anew and the state will continue without an official flag.