Flag of Mississippi
|Use||Civil and state flag|
|Adopted||February 7, 2001|
|Design||Three horizontal stripes of blue, white and red. The canton is square, spans 2 stripes, consists of a red background with a blue saltire, bordered with white and emblazoned with thirteen (13) five pointed stars.|
The flag of the State of Mississippi was first adopted by the U.S. state of Mississippi in April 1894, replacing the flag that had been adopted in 1861. The flag was subsequently repealed in 1906 and readopted in February 2001. The flag is unique among U.S. state flags as it is the sole remaining U.S. state flag which still depicts the Confederate battle flag's saltire, after Georgia adopted a new state flag in 2003.
Pledge to the Mississippi State Flag 
The pledge to the state flag is:
—Mississippi Code Ann., Section 37-13-7, 1972
When Mississippi declared its secession from the Union on January 9, 1861, near the start of the American Civil War, the Bonnie Blue Flag (which consisted of a single white star on a blue field) was raised over the capitol building in Jackson, as a sign of independence. On January 26, Mississippi officially adopted a new flag which included the Bonnie Blue Flag in its canton and a magnolia tree in its center field. Known as the Magnolia Flag, it remained in use until 1894, when the current flag was adopted.
On April 23, 1894 a new flag was adopted by the Mississippi Legislature in a Special Session. In 1906, it was repealed, but continued to be used as the de facto state flag until it was officially readopted on February 7, 2001. The Mississippi Code of 1972, in Title 3, Chapter 3 describes the flag as follows:
§ 3-3-16. Design of state flag. The official flag of the State of Mississippi shall have the following design: with width two-thirds (2/3) of its length; with the union (canton) to be square, in width two-thirds (2/3) of the width of the flag; the ground of the union to be red and a broad blue saltire thereon, bordered with white and emblazoned with thirteen (13) mullets or five-pointed stars, corresponding with the number of the original States of the Union; the field to be divided into three (3) bars of equal width, the upper one blue, the center one white, and the lower one, extending the whole length of the flag, red (the national colors); this being the flag adopted by the Mississippi Legislature in the 1894 Special Session.
2001 flag referendum
In 2000, the Supreme Court of Mississippi ruled that state legislation in 1906 had repealed the adoption of the state flag in 1894, so what was considered to be the official state flag was only so through custom and usage. The flag was officially readopted on February 7, 2001. In January 2001, Governor Ronnie Musgrove appointed an independent commission which developed a new proposed design, and on April 17, 2001, a non-binding state referendum to change the flag was put before Mississippi voters. The proposal would have replaced the Confederate battle flag with a blue canton with 20 stars. The outer ring of 13 stars would represent the original Thirteen Colonies, the ring of six stars would represent the six nations that have had sovereignty over Mississippi territory (various Native American nations as a collective nation, French Empire, Spanish Empire, Great Britain, the United States, and the Confederacy), and the inner and slightly larger star would represent Mississippi itself. The 20 stars would also represent Mississippi's status as the 20th member of the United States. The new flag was soundly defeated in a vote of 64% (488,630 votes) to 36% (267,812) and the old flag was retained.
- Flags of the U.S. states
- Symbols of the State of Mississippi
- Great Seal of the State of Mississippi
- Flags of the Confederate States of America
- State of Mississippi (February 7, 2001). "Miss. Code Ann. § 3-3-16: Design of state flag". Mississippi Code of 1972. LexisNexis.
HISTORY: SOURCES: Laws, 2001, ch. 301, § 2, eff from and after February 7, 2001 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the addition of this section.)
- "Section 37-13-7". Mississippi Code Ann. State of Mississippi. 1972.
- "The Mississippi State Flag". NetState. February 6, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2015.
- Mississippi Division of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans v. Mississippi State Conference of NAACP Branches, 774 So.2d 388 (Miss. 2000)
- Dedman IV, James M. (Fall 2001). "At Daggers Drawn: The Confederate Flag and the School Classroom - A Case Study of a Broken First Amendment Formula". Baylor Law Review 53: 877, 883.
- "Mississippi will retain its 107-year-old flag". CNN. 2001-04-17. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
- "Election Results" (PDF). State of Mississippi. 2001-04-27. Archived from the original on 2007-11-26. Retrieved 2007-10-21.