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Two Mississippi Museums to unveil flag exhibit on March 9

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The Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson will be unveiling a new exhibit taking a closer look at Mississippi’s flags over time.

Flags from Mississippi: Emblems Through Time opens March 9 and will feature 20 rarely shown state, national, and military flags that have been used in the Magnolia State. The exhibit will be on display through Nov. 8 with no admission fee.

“The Two Mississippi Museums are excited to share this free, special flag exhibition curated by the [Mississippi Department of Archives and History],” Two Mississippi Museums director Michael Morris said. “We invite the public to explore and examine how flags illustrate the various ways inhabitants of Mississippi have chosen to symbolize threads of culture and belief throughout time.”

According to Morris, one of the highlights of the exhibit will be the Magnolia Flag, which was adopted as the state’s first flag in 1861. The Magnolia Flag was ousted in 1865 in favor of a confederate-emblemed flag that was put to rest in 2020 for the current “In God We Trust” flag.

The Magnolia Flag was the state flag of Mississippi from 1861 until 1865 (Photo courtesy of MDAH)

Visitors will also see military and battle flags captured during the Civil War. The First National Flag of the Confederacy, commonly known as the Stars and Bars, was seized by Samuel Loring Percival Ayers at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863. The original flag captured will be on display along with a reproduction of the 5th Heavy Artillery Regimental flag of the United States Colored Troops, an African American regiment formed in Vicksburg that fought in the Battle of Milliken’s Bend.

Representing the Mississippi Band of Choctaws will be an official flag adopted by the tribe in 1994 to showcase the group’s resilience and progress over the past 500 years.

Flags from Mississippi: Emblems Through Time will include free gallery talks on March 12, June 14, and Aug. 22, and a lecture at the “History Is Lunch” program on Aug. 21.

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