Diversity and Community Engagement
The University of Mississippi

Statewide Ballot Initiatives: State Flag

In the coming posts, UM Voting Ambassadors will be previewing what is on the Mississippi ballot, so that you understand the offices, the statewide ballot initiatives, and your choices as you prepare to cast your vote. In this post, Voting Ambassador Nick Castellanos shares about the state flag referendum, one of three statewide initiatives on the ballot. For those voting out-of-state, please reference our State by State Voting Guide for information on your ballot.

History and Process

In June 2020, House Bill 1796 removed the former state flag, which was first instituted in 1894, 29 years after the civil war ended. The former state flag featured a smaller version of the confederate flag in the upper left corner, which eventually led to its removal in June of 2020. <Read more about the removal of the state flag here>

Criteria and Selection

Following House Bill 1796, a Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag was formed, which fielded designs from the public as long as they met the following criteria:
● Simple enough for a child to draw from memory
● Use meaningful symbolism
● Use two or three basic colors
● Be distinctive

The bill stated that:
“The new design for the Mississippi State Flag shall honor the past while embracing the promise of the future.”

The Ballot

The commission narrowed down 3,000 submissions to the following design, which will appear on the ballot like so:

Mississippi State Flag Design

Mississippi State Flag Design

Please vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on whether the following design shall be the official Mississippi State Flag

[ ] YES
[ ] NO

It is important to note that the referendum on the ballot does not involve reinstating the former state flag. If the referendum is voted down on election day, Nov 3rd, the commission will select another flag design, which will be voted on in 2021.

For your reference:

Nick Castellanos

Nick Castellanos