A Union County resident has been appointed by Gov. Tate Reeves to serve on the Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag.

Betsey Hamilton, who currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Union County Heritage Museum, was appointed by the governor to serve on the flag commission.

Hamilton is a retired public school teacher, real estate broker and appraiser. She is a member of the Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi.

Hamilton has previously served as a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Union County Historical Society and the Tanglefoot Trail. She has also been a trustee for the New Albany Public School District and a member of the Advisory Council for the New Albany Boys and Girls Club.

The Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag has nine members. The governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House each appointed three members.

The commission must make its recommendation for the new design of the Mississippi flag no later than Sept. 14. There will be an election Nov. 3 in which voters will decide whether the flag design recommended by the commission is adopted as the new state flag.

The Legislature recently passed a bill to retire the former state flag, which contained the controversial Confederate battle emblem.

The new flag design cannot contain the Confederate battle emblem and must state “In God We Trust.”

The new deadline for the public to submit designs for the new state of Mississippi flag is Aug. 1.

Flag designs may be emailed emcraney@mdah.ms.gov. Submissions may also be mailed to Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, P.O. Box 571, Jackson, MS, 39205-0571.

Those who wish to submit a design for the new state flag must meet the following criteria:

Only unique flag design submissions that include the words “In God We Trust” will be considered. Flag descriptions will not be considered.

The new flag design cannot include the Confederate battle flag.

Flag design submissions must adhere to principles of the North American Vexillological Association: Keep it simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.

Use meaningful symbolism. The flag’s images, color, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes. Use two or three basic colors.

The Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag held its first meeting July 22. Commissioners unanimously elected Reuben Anderson to serve as chairman. Anderson, a former Mississippi Supreme Court justice, serves as president of the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

The bill passed by the Legislature creates a nine-member commission to recommend a new design for the Mississippi flag.

Three members of the commission were appointed by the speaker of the House, three members by the lieutenant governor and three by Gov. Tate Reeves.

The governor’s appointees had to include a representative from the Mississippi Economic Council, a representative from the Mississippi Arts Commission and a representative from the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

In addition to Hamilton, Reeves appointed:

Tribal Chief Cyrus Ben is the fifth democratically elected chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. He made history as the youngest chief.

Chief Ben is guided in his leadership and service to the Choctaw people by five key initiatives: respect of others, fairness and equality to all, accountability in all areas, efficiency in practices in addition to the support and appreciation of all employees and Tribal members.

A lifelong resident of Neshoba County, Chief Ben and his wife TaRita raise their children, Brodie, Eden and Selah in the Pearl River community.

Frank Bordeaux currently serves as vice president, property and casualty for BXS Insurance in Mississippi, which he originally joined in 2007 as an insurance producer.

His primary focus is public sector business, Department of Defense contractors, and large hospitality risk. Bordeaux has been involved with numerous civic and nonprofit organizations over the years, including serving on the Gulfport Youth Sports Association, as a past board member of Feed My Sheep Soup Kitchen, and as a past board member of Lynn Meadows Discovery Center.

Some of his professional affiliations include The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, and Independent Insurance Agents of Mississippi. A lifelong Mississippian, Bordeaux and his wife, Jacqueline, have four sons, Miles, Hudson, Jack Fisher, and Frank.

Other appointees to the flag commission are: Vicksburg attorney J. Mack Varner, former public school teacher Sherri Carr Bevis of Gulfport, Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College President Mary Graham and TJ Taylor, a staff member to Speaker of the House Philip Gunn.

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