November 28, 2020

Communities begin to unfurl ‘In God We Trust’ flag, new design selling fast

Although the new Mississippi state flag may not be official, the new design overwhelmingly approved by voters is being unfurled across the state. One Mississippi store cannot keep the flag in stock.

One formality is left before the “In God We Trust” flag becomes official.

Even though nearly 72 percent of Mississippi voters cast their votes in favor of the new flag, the Legislature must ratify that vote when they reconvene in January.

On Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said ratifying the vote would be among the first actions taken by the Legislature when they organize on Jan. 5, 2021.

When done, the new flag will begin flying high over state-controlled buildings throughout the state.

Many Mississippians are not waiting for the official go-ahead, said one Jackson flag store.

Hundreds of people have bought the new design from A Complete Flag Source in Jackson. Owner Brenda McIntyre told WLBT news in Jackson.

“I had over 400 flags in stock, waiting. So it would have been, you know, it was a chance that we took to have that many flags already here, but it’s been great because we’ve been able to fill orders right away,” said McIntyre.

She said the calls and walk-in orders have been steady since Tuesday. Most orders are for personal use, but some schools and major facilities have ordered flags too.

Some other cities in Mississippi decided not to wait. On Wednesday, officials hoisted the flag outside Hattiesburg City Hall and on the campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

In Vicksburg, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said Wednesday he would recommend a resolution at the next meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen that would allow for the purchase of the new flag and authorize it to fly over city buildings once the Nov. 3 General Election results are certified by the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office. The certification will happen later this month.

When the flags are placed on poles near Vicksburg’s city buildings, it would end a more than the three-decade absence of a state flag from city-controlled buildings.

In 1987, then-Mayor Robert Walker and city leaders moved to remove the former state flag — which contained the Confederate Battle Flag in the upper right corner — from city buildings.

Since the former state flag was officially retired by the Legislature and Gov. Tate Reeves, it has not flown at any of the schools within the Vicksburg Warren School District. Superintendent Chad Shealy said Wednesday that the district will move ahead with purchasing the new flags, but will not fly them until the Legislature ratifies the decision in January.

As for the Warren County Board of Supervisors, Board President Dr. Jeff Holland said supervisors will discuss when to begin flying and displaying the state flag at county-managed buildings.

Bubba Bolm, curator of the Old Court House Museum, a building owned by the county, said Tuesday’s decision was bittersweet, but a needed change for Mississippi to move forward.

“The symbol in the Mississippi Flag (the Confederate Battle flag in the former state flag) has just been a problem for years now and I don’t think it was ever going to end,” Bolm said. “Certainly Mississippi doesn’t want to be known for a flag used by racists to cause problems. So it is good we have a new flag coming in and if we have to change, let’s go ahead and get it done and over with. I can’t wait to fly one (the new state flag).”