MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) - Mississippi voters decided the time has come for a new state flag to fly.
According to projections from NBC News, Mississippians voted in favor of replacing the state’s former flag with the “In God We Trust” design.
The former flag, which had been adopted for use in 1894, had been targeted over the past few decades as a racist symbol because of the Confederate symbol in its canton.
A call to change the former flag was declined in a statewide referendum in 2001. Over the following years, a number of cities, universities and other institutions furled the state flag.
The former flag was lowered by the state in June.
In August, the legislature passed a bill demanding a new design as Confederate monuments were being removed around the country and amid nationwide protests sparked by George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis.
Among those that called for the flag change was the Mississippi Baptist Convention, which has more than 500,000 members at more than 2,100 churches.
And, the NCAA’s Southeastern Conference warned that it could bar SEC championship games from being held in the state if the Confederate emblem was not removed.
A commission was appointed to come up with a new design to put to a state-wide vote in November.
The new flag features a magnolia blossom in the center of a a dark blue background, bordered on either side by red bars.
Circling the magnolia blossom above are 20 stars, representing Mississippi birth as the 20th state of the United States. The peak star is comprised of diamond shapes, representing the state’s indigenous people.
Below the blossom, is the state legislature-mandated phrase, “In God We Trust.”