A small victory for those hoping to one day see a change in the state flag that currently bears the Confederate emblem.
Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill allowing a new specialty ‘Stennis Flag’ license plate.
The conversation of changing the state flag has been around at least since 2001 when Mississippians voted to keep the rebel symbol flag the same.
Now after 4 years the door may be reopened.
Laurin Stennis , the granddaughter of former Mississippi U.S. Senator John C. Stennis designed what is now known as the ‘Stennis Flag’ her alternative to the current state flag.
“I came back in the fall of 2013 I was so happy to be back and I found a house and moved in and I really wanted to put out a state flag and I couldn’t and I wouldn’t,” Stennis said.
Through her research and deliberation she wanted to showcase Mississippi for what it holds.
“This state has so many positive aspects and so many wonderful things not only historically but presently,” she said. “And then looking towards our future that we could be talking about and working on and the symbol we have now just does not allow us to do that. “
Her four year journey has lead to what she believes is a crack in the fight to change the flag to be more inclusive.
“We’ve got great momentum I think people realize, that we’re not trying to take anything away from them privately this is just suggesting a public logo if you will which is important,” said Stennis. “I think will have positive effects for everyone and so having this specialty tag available now the proceeds for which go to the two museums.”
Stennis adds she wants to protect people‘s rights to privately fly whatever they want. “I just think we need to update our symbol to something more hospitable and welcoming of industry and tourism and things on which our state is so dependent.”
She says the state needs something more positive.
“The flag that we have now stays in the drawer it doesn’t fly at any of the universities it doesn’t fly at any of the major business— and since the what is now called the Stennis flag has come in to being and been embraced I see more of those up than i ever seen state flags in my life time,” Stennis said.
Pre -sale of the Stennis plates begin July 1st.
Stennis says the flag represents unity. It has red vertical bars on each side and a white center with large blue star encircled by 19 smaller ones, representing Mississippi as the 20th state.