We have a chance to start a new era for the state of Mississippi, one with unification and inclusion for our residents and economic growth across our communities. Mississippians will have an opportunity to vote to approve a proposed state flag in November, and the state’s largest banks fully support the adoption of a new official flag.

Our state flag should reflect Mississippi’s unique characteristics, be a source of pride, and represent all its residents’ cultures and viewpoints. The proposed flag’s design includes the Magnolia blossom—our state’s flower, representing Mississippi’s hospitality, sense of hope and rebirth, and forward progression. It also features stars—a circle of 20, signifying Mississippi as the 20th state of America, and a gold five-point star at the top, representing the Native American tribes who were the indigenous people of the land that would become Mississippi. The blue in the main field is similar to the blue of the American flag, reflecting vigilance, justice and perseverance, while the bands of red represent hardiness and valor, and the gold lines and the gold stamen of the flag acknowledge the rich cultural history of Mississippi.

We realize changing the official state flag has been a difficult process, so we commend both the Mississippi Legislature for voting to retire the previous flag and the commission for reviewing nearly 3,000 submitted designs and finalizing a new design.

The proposed flag is an important symbol for moving our state forward. Mississippi’s business community believes it will improve our state’s image and positively impact corporate recruiting. It will be a significant step in shedding the false perception that Mississippi isn’t as forward-thinking as the rest of the country. Our state is blessed with an extraordinary quality of life, abundant natural resources, and has every opportunity to be a thriving economic engine.

Voting for the new flag on Nov. 3 will open additional economic opportunities, enhance job creation, help attract a diverse and talented workforce, and improve quality of life fairly and inclusively for generations to come.

Dan Rollins, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, BancorpSouth Bank

John Hairston, President & Chief Executive Officer, Hancock Whitney Bank

Mitch Waycaster, President & Chief Executive Officer, Renasant Bank

Jerry Host, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Trustmark Bank

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