Finally, in 2001, a referendum similar in scale to such happenings as the Domesday Book and the 2008 US Presidential Election was placed before Mississippi voters, the options being whether or whether not to change the flag. The proposed new flag would replace the Confederate Battle Flag with a "sleek" blue canton with twenty stars, nineteen of which would represent the commercial sponsors of Mississippi® and one which represented Mississippi itself, which was originally planned to be in the likeness of a scrotum if approved by voters.
On April 17, 2001, Mississippi voters went to the polls to choose whether to adopt the new design or keep the old one (having been told beforehand that it was actually a statewide personality quiz). However, as tempers flared over the idea of abandoning the supposedly symbolic Confederate flag, a massive statewide riot ensued, preventing the vote from being completed. Governor Ronnie Musgrove, who had commisioned the redesign in the first place, quickly deployed the National Guard, all available SWAT teams, all local police departments, sharpshooters, tanks, planes and the Girl Scouts to restore order to the state. At this point the country was in chaos, with reports of a soda can being thrown in the Mississippi river shocking governing bodies.
As the army attempted to sort out the mess, Musgrove, persistent and stubborn in his dislike of the Confederate flag, created a special Emergency Mississippi Flag Think Tank Committee made up of artists, governors and "sample" Ku Klux Klan members to attempt to find a compromise that everyone in Mississippi could live with. They worked hard for approximately two hours a day for one week, consulting historical notes and previous public servey information in order to come to an appealing and acceptaple conclusion. The resulting flag design, despite several out-of-place coffee stains, was accepted as a fair way to honor white heritage without using any racist or copyrighted symbols. Governor Musgrove was hailed as a great leader for coming up with such a brilliant solution to the problem. Mississippi voters overwhelmingly and law-abidingly supported this new flag design and the statewide protests eventually dried out, sending criminal activity back to its usual 170% of the American state average. Following an overwhelming 85% of the voters choosing the new flag, it became the official state flag on January 5, 2002. Its design is shown below.
- ↑ These claims were at the time unjustified.
- ↑ "The polls" actually refers to a selection of local bars kitted out with pictures of the Confederate flag, as nothing else could be put together on such short notice.
- ↑ The EMFTTC celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2006, having since become the subjects of a successful reality TV show.