A New Albany woman said she was “very honored” to be appointed by Gov. Tate Reeves to serve on the Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag.
Betsey Hamilton of New Albany is a member of the nine-member commission that will recommend a new design for the Mississippi state flag.
The design recommended by the commission will be put on the ballot for the people to vote on Nov. 3. The new flag cannot contain the Confederate battle emblem and must state “In God We Trust.”
Hamilton said she thinks there is a “really great group” of people serving on the commission from various parts of the state.
“I think we’re doing more than just designing a flag,” she said. “We’re rebranding the whole state.”
She wants the new Mississippi flag to stand out.
“What’s the brand of our state?” Hamilton asked. “Who are we? This flag says that.”
Hamilton, who serves on the Board of Trustees for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, said she was “excited” to be chosen by the governor to serve on the commission.
“I’m a little awed over the responsibility and the magnitude,” Hamilton said. “It’s a huge responsibility.”
She noted that the new flag could be around for generations and that she hopes a “timeless” design is selected.
“I think it’s got to speak to who we are as a state,” Hamilton said, adding that Mississippi is a hospitable and philanthropic state.
She said she is ready for people to think of Mississippi in very positive ways. Hamilton hopes the new flag design is something that people will really buy into, support and feel good about.
Hamilton would like to see a design that is really unique, different and fresh.
“I think all of us want a flag that exemplifies the best of Mississippi and that everybody can support—one that unites us all,” Hamilton said.
However, she knows some people will be disappointed with the new design. But she said this is a time to put personal preferences aside and do something that’s for the good of the state.
The new flag should be marketable and put Mississippi in a very positive light throughout the country and the world, Hamilton said. It should be good for tourism and industrial recruitment, she added.
The Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag met July 28 at the Two Mississippi Museums—the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
The commission unanimously approved a plan for reviewing the hundreds of flag submissions and selecting a flag for the ballot by Sept. 2. Only flags submitted by August 1 that meet the legislative criteria will be considered.
The flag submissions will be placed on the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s website for public view on Aug. 3.
The commissioners will each choose 25 flags by Aug. 7, narrowing more than a thousand entries to a maximum of 225. Commission members will then rank their top 10 choices.
During the next meeting on Aug. 14, the commissioners will select five flags for final consideration. These five flags will be placed on the MDAH website for public comment.