Designing a new flag is an exciting opportunity for all Mississippians
For those of you who are fans of the television sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” no doubt you are familiar with Sheldon Cooper.
Sheldon is a brainiac with an IQ about which he often brags, but the physicist has no common sense whatsoever.
The show is hilarious and I got hooked watching it after a bit of coaxing from hubby and my youngest daughter.
In several episodes of “The Big Bang Theory,” Sheldon produces a vodcast, sort of like a podcast as I understand, to teach all those watching vexillology, the study of flags.
He calls it “Sheldon Cooper Presents: Fun with Flags.”
It seems ridiculous that anyone but a Sheldon-type character would think to do a vodcast on flags, but in this Emmy Award-winning show, it is not only entertaining, there are also instances where it borders on educational.
Take for instance the vodcast entitled, “Flags: you gotta know how to hold’em, you gotta know how to fold’em.”
These silly little vodcasts of Sheldon made me think of our situation here in Mississippi.
Since the retiring of our former state flag in June, we need a replacement.
Therefore, in an effort to make that happen, lawmakers created a nine-member commission to develop, design and present to Mississippi voters in November a new state flag for their approval.
One of these nine is our own Vicksburg native Mack Varner.
While this commission will ultimately serve as the deciding factor in recommending a design for the new state flag, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History is accepting flag design submissions from whoever would like to submit.
This commission of nine, no doubt, would benefit from a plethora of ideas.
For parents out there, this seems like a wonderful opportunity for children to use their imaginations while also becoming part of the process in helping determine what a new flag could look like.
I think it would be amazing to see what little ones would design, and as a grandmother, I might just send my little people some art supplies to spur their interest.
Also, the creativity that exists in this town is phenomenal.
I don’t know if there is another city in the state that has as many talented artists cloistered together in one spot.
I hope they, too, will consider sending images that could potentially become our next flag.
This is exciting!
At this juncture in time, Mississippi has the chance to show the rest of America who we really are, a state that can come together, reach across aisles and show pride for all our heritages.
This flag can be the start of a new history.
And in the words of Sheldon,
“For joy and fun,
There’s no better manner,
Than to fly a pennant,
Flag or banner,
What fills my heart,
And makes my eyes moist,
Sending a flag,
Up a pole on a hoist,
Fun with flags,
Fun with flags,
Oh! Say can you see,
It’s fun with flags,
Fun with flags!”
For those interested in taking part, designs may be emailed to Emma McRaney at emcraney @mdah.ms.gov or mailed to Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, P.O. Box 571, Jackson, MS, 39205-0571.
The criteria for any flag designs must include:
• Only unique flag design submissions that include the words “In God We Trust” will be considered by the nine-member commission. Flag descriptions will not be considered.
• The new flag design cannot include the Confederate battle flag.
• The flag design submission must adhere to principles of the North American Vexillological Association:
• Keep It Simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw if from memory.
Use meaningful symbolism. The flag’s images, color, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes.
• Use two or three basic colors.
• Be distinctive or be related.
The deadline for submitting flag designs is Aug. 13.
Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at email@example.com.