The Flag of Mississippi was officially adopted in 1894 following the state’s appointment of a committee to design an appropriate state flag. The flag features a square version of the Confederate Battle Flag in the upper left corner, a red background that includes a blue southern cross and thirteen white stars inside the cross. The rest of the flag consists of three large horizontal stripes, one each in blue, white, and red. Mississippi is the only state in the Union that still incorporates the Confederate flag into their state flag.
The meaning of the colors and stars on the Mississippi state flag are not difficult to interpret. The thirteen stars in the Confederate flag symbolize the thirteen original colonies of the United States. The red, white, and blue colors are also in accordance with the official colors of the United States. The use of the Confederate flag in the Mississippi state flag is controversial, however. Those who support the Confederate flag argue that it is a symbol of southern heritage that is distinctively unique from the Northern traditions. To others, due to its use in the Civil War, by Neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, the Confederate flag is viewed as racist and anti-Union. For these reasons, most Southern states, schools, and universities that at one time included the Confederate flag in their own state flags or that flew the Confederate flag no longer follow this tradition.
In 1993, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed a lawsuit against the state of Mississippi regarding the Confederate flag’s inclusion in the state’s flag. After reviewing the case, the Mississippi Supreme Court overruled the NAACP, and in 2000, Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove made the current state flag official. Although controversy continued to brew over the flag’s use, in 2001, Mississippi residents voted to keep the Confederate flag on their state flag.