More metro Jackson businesses embracing change for state flag

More metro Jackson businesses embracing change for state flag

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Lawmakers may once again consider changing the state flag as a bill is re-introduced to remove the current symbol.

One design is becoming popular among change supporters, including local businesses.

“The state needs a new logo, and that’s what we’re fighting for,” said Stennis flag designer Laurin Stennis.

The artist is gaining support across party lines for her suggested replacement for the current state flag.

Artist Laurin Stennis designed the flag flying at many homes and businesses. Source: WLBT
Artist Laurin Stennis designed the flag flying at many homes and businesses. Source: WLBT

It’s an inverted Bonnie Blue flag, bordered by red. It features 19 stars encircling a larger center star, representing the 20th state in the union.

More and more homes and businesses are flying the symbol.

For the fourth straight year, Rep. Kathy Sykes of Jackson has introduced House Bill 561, making the Stennis flag the official state flag.

“We want to brand our state to the rest of the nation and the rest of the world,” said Stennis. “That’s the job of a state flag right? So we need to separate those two issues and have matters of heritage and family stories in the private sphere."

Businesses in the metro are flying the flag and posting the stickers on their doors.

Among them is Jackson deli owner Steve Long.

The flag hangs at Steven's On Congress owned by Steven Long who sees it as a symbol of unity. Source: WLBT
The flag hangs at Steven's On Congress owned by Steven Long who sees it as a symbol of unity. Source: WLBT

“A good, strong new symbol to represent our state to the rest of the country,” said Long.

The Stennis flag hangs at Long’s deli, Steven’s, on Congress.

He bought the flag during the Charlottesville demonstrations in 2017.

“I’m all for it. I think it’s a good design,” said Long. “I think it’s a good original symbol, rather than being confrontational. I think it’s more intended to be a symbol of unity.”

Representative David Baria and Senators David Blount, John Hohrn and Willie Simmons are supporting the bill.

Four bills have been introduced to establish a commission to redesign the flag.

According to Stennis, sales of the flags have increased from about a few dozen in 2015 to about 2,700.

She receives no proceeds from the sales.

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