By Alyssa Schnugg
Oxford artist Kara Giles may soon be able to boast that she is one of the designers behind the new Mississippi state flag.
On Wednesday, the Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag chose the “New Magnolia” design to be on the November ballot.
If a majority of those voting in the November election accept the design, it will become the new state flag. If they reject it, the design process will begin again and another design will go on the ballot at a later date.
In late June, Mississippi legislators voted to retire the former state flag which included the Confederate battle emblem. One condition was made – that the words “In God We Trust” are on the new flag.
Giles is the executive assistant to Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill – who serves on the commission – and owner of Nest Paper Studio. She was called in by the commission to work on submissions and original designs. The final product was a combination of three submitted designs that Giles combined for the final design.
“I am honored and humbled to be a part of the process,” she said. “Having the New Magnolia chosen is quite surreal. I am very excited but I remain cautiously optimistic. I’m so hopeful that Mississippians will support it on the ballot and that we will get to see it fly in November.”
The commission met Wednesday to choose between the New Magnolia flag and the Great River Flag designs.
The circle of 20 stars on the New Magnolia flag represents Mississippi as the 20th state of the United States of America. The color blue in the main field echoes the blue of the American flag – representing vigilance, justice and perseverance, while the bands of red represent hardiness and valor. The gold lines and stamen of the new magnolia are a nod to the rich cultural history of Mississippi. The design contains a single star made of diamond shapes to represent the indigenous tribes and those who lived here long before Mississippi became a state.