Today, the Mississippi State Flag Commission met for the second time in Jackson to solidify the framework for how they will select the new flag design that will appear on the November ballot.
A framework for the process was proposed by Mississippi Department of Archives and History Director Katie Blount and was approved by the Commission.
The framework consists of the following:
Round 1: Commissioners will have access to flag designs through Dropbox. Each member will have until August 7 to select 25 designs. At this time, MDAH will also make the designs accessible to the public to view.
Round 2: From the Round 1 picks, Commissioners will select the top 10 using a point system. If at any point leading up to this point, a member would like to create their own design a staff person through MDAH is available to assist.
Round 3: During a specified meeting Commissioners will vote for their top five, out of the top 10 that were selected and scored. These five choices will be made available for the public to provide opinion. Members will have access to those comments, as they will be public.
Once the five selections are finalized, the designs will be made into an actual flag so that members can see what they would look like in the cloth form.
On September 2, 2020, the Commission will select their final design that will be placed on the November ballot for the public to vote on. Chairman Reuben Anderson will then send a letter to Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn regarding the choice.
Once placed on the ballot, the design requires a two-thirds majority of the popular vote. If that happens, it will become the new official flag of Mississippi.
Members of the Commission also heard from Vexillologist Clay Moss who specializes in flag history and design.
Moss advised the commission on a few key components to consider when selecting a flag. Some of those included selecting a design that is simple and recognizable at a distance. You also want to select a design that is easy for a child to recall and recreate by memory or is easy to be sewn by someone at home.
He did say that typically one would want to avoid any type of text on a flag. Per the legislation passed, however, the design must contain the words “In God We Trust.” Moss said there are ways the commission can consider incorporating those words that would work.
“There are ways to compensate for that. You could put it in the form of a ribbon on a flag or maybe even on a disk in some way, what we call containing the wording so that it blends a little bit better to the flags design,” said Moss.
All seemed to agree that the commissioners had their work cut out for them. Currently MDAH has received over 1,000 design suggestions. The deadline for the public to submit is set for this weekend.