Mississippi flag vote
April 18, 2001 -- Mississippi voters have opted decisively by 65% to 35% to retain the Confederate battle emblem on their state flag. The 100-year-old Confederate cross is seen by many Americans as a symbol of racism and slavery.
Mississippi voters opted decisively Tuesday to retain their state flag which prominently displays the Confederate battle emblem, seen by many Americans as a symbol of racism and slavery but hailed by supporters as a sign of southern pride.
With 94 percent of precincts counted, 456,113 voters, or 65 percent, favoured keeping the old flag and 246,220 voters, or 35 percent, voted for a new design.
Voters had two choices: keep the current 1894 flag with the Confederate battle emblem of 13 white stars on a blue cross, or adopt a new flag with 20 white stars on a blue square, denoting Mississippi’s role as the 20th state.
In recent years, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia have either dropped or downgraded their use of the symbol.
It was the first time voters anywhere had a chance to decide the flag issue. Despite the emotive issue, both sides agreed the campaign had been orderly and civil.