Mississippi joined the Union as the 20th state on December 10, 1817, and gets its name from the Mississippi River, which forms its western border.
Mississippi is rich with incredible stories and intriguing American history. The name “Teddy Bears” was coined after a hunting trip in Mississippi, during which President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot and kill a bear. The first human lung transplant was performed by Dr. James Hardy in 1963 at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. In 1935, “the Flying Keys”, brothers Fred and Al Key from Meridian, Mississippi, flew an aircraft for a solid 27 days, 5 hours, and 34 minutes, setting the world record for keeping a plane aloft and refueling mid-air.
The history of the Mississippi State Flag is interesting as well. First adopted in April 1894, the Mississippi State Flag replaced the unofficial flag that had flown since 1861 during the time that Mississippi was a Confederate state. In 1906, the flag was repealed but remained the defacto state flag. In 2001, a referendum was introduced for the first time to replace the state flag. However, the state legislature voted to re-adopt the historic flag design. The Mississippi State Flag is the only U.S. state flag to include the saltire of the Confederate battle flag.
In 2020 a referendum to replace the state flag was again introduced. This time it passed. By November, voters overwhelmingly approved the new version of the flag. The "New Magnolia Flag," features a blossom from the state's iconic tree in a vertical blue band flanked by gold and red bands on either side that are meant to represent the Mississippi River.