CNN asks Black artists to design new versions of the Mississippi flag

Voters will get the chance to pick a new design in November

Published On
Jul 10, 2020

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Mississippi’s state flag, adopted in 1894, is the last in the U.S. to display the Confederate battle flag. That will soon be changing. In November, voters will have the chance to choose a new design after Mississippi governor Tate Reeves signed a bill to do away with it following the protests after George Floyd’s death. Many Confederate statues around the country have been taken down at the hands of protestors.

CNN Style reached out to five Black artists from Mississippi to redesign the flag. Artists Dante Johnson, Robin Martéa, Reshonda Perryman, Qin Mobley and Jyreme Mcmillon returned colorful, symbolic flags that are filled with Southern pride without any racist undertones.

Johnson places Mississippi’s state flower, the magnolia, in the middle of his flag and mixes in red and blue with olive branches and seeds to signify change and “something that attempts to symbolize bridging the divide that is so strongly present in Mississippi,” he tells CNN Style.

In her flag, Martéa features the mockingbird, the Mississippi state bird, in blue and yellow tones to depict freedom, progression and joy. Perryman presents a graphic “M” for the state in her flag with a star in the corner that she tells CNN Style represents “one harmonious Mississippi.” Mobley’s flag has the state flower and several arrows that form the letter “M” if you turn the flag right side up. Finally, Mcmillon’s flag places the state flower in the middle of a singular star with the U.S. colors of red, white and blue making up stripes and stars.

"Despite the shortcomings of this state, it is still full of hardworking and inspiring people who seek for nothing more than representation in a positive light,” says Mcmillon.