1976 13¢ Mississippi
State Flags Issue
Issue Date: February 23, 1976
City: Washington, DC
Quantity: 8,720,100 panes of 50
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Photogravure
Mississippi State Flag
Early in 1861, Mississippi seceded from the U.S. and declared itself the Sovereign Republic of Mississippi. Mississippi was an independent nation for two months before the Confederate States of America was formed. The new republic adopted the Magnolia Flag, and continued to fly it after joining the Confederacy.
The Mississippi delta was ideal for growing cotton. The fertile land and tropical temperatures made Mississippi the largest cotton producer in the U.S.A. Cotton was needed by the Confederacy to fund the war, and controlling the Mississippi River was vital for transporting it.
In 1894, the current state flag was approved by the Mississippi State Legislature. Reflecting Mississippi's Southern heritage, the flag included the Confederate Cross.
Seventy years later, the state was strategically important in another struggle. As civil rights activists poured into the Deep South, Mississippi became a proving ground for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The goal was to increase black voter registration in Mississippi. Their effort was a success. Within five years, voter registration for blacks increased tenfold.