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Georgia and Mississippi are still flying versions of the Confederate flag

The flag flying at Mississippi's state capitol in 2010.
The flag flying at Mississippi's state capitol in 2010.
Stuart Seeger
Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says the Confederate battle flag should no longer fly on statehouse grounds, where it's been since a 2000 compromise moved it from atop the Capitol dome.

Moving the flag requires a two-thirds vote from the state legislature. And even then, the Confederate flag won't lose its official position in the South entirely. Two states — Georgia and Mississippi — still incorporate the battle flag or other symbols of the Confederacy into their own state flags.

Georgia replaced a Confederate-themed flag with another Confederate-themed flag

The Confederacy used several flags during the Civil War. The best-known is the battle flag, which is what South Carolina was flying on its statehouse grounds. Georgia incorporated the battle flag into its official state flag in 1956, as the state legislature was embracing "massive resistance" to the Brown v. Board of Education school integration decision:


In 2001, the state's governor, Roy Barnes, pushed a redesign of the flag through the legislature — a move that's believed to have contributed to his upset defeat in an election the following year. The replacement flag had a flags-on-flags-on-flags design, which featured the old flag, Georgia's pre-1956 flags, and two American flags:


That flag was very unpopular, as was Barnes's decision. In 2003, in a state referendum, voters approved a new flag. But this flag was also based on one of the flags of the Confederacy — the Stars and Bars, the first official flag. Georgia's version just adds its state seal to the upper left corner:

The flag adopted in 2003 is the first Confederate national flag with Georgia's state seal added.


It might not be as recognizable as the battle flag, but it also represents a rebellion founded on the perpetuation of slavery and white supremacy.

Mississippi still flies the Confederate battle flag

Mississippi's state flag is a lot more blatant than Georgia's:

Mississippi adopted the flag in the 1890s, decades before South Carolina began flying the Confederate battle flag and Georgia added it to its state flag. A commission redesigned the flag in 2001, but that new design lost in a referendum by a wide margin. There's now a petition calling on Mississippi to change its flag in the wake of the Charleston shooting.