Mississippi State Flag
Mississippi State Seal
is a southern state of the United
MS. Official (long) name: State
The state takes
its name from the Mississippi River, which flows along the western boundary.
The name itself probably comes from Native American words with various
spellings that mean "large waters" or "father of the waters."
attached to Mississippi
are the Magnolia State and the Hospitality State.
Pledge to the Flag:
"I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which
it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence
in her future under the guidance of Almighty God."
"Virtute et Armis" (By Valor and Arms)
- % water
125,546 kmē (32nd)
Land 121,606 kmē
Water 3,940 kmē
- Total (2000)
23.42 /kmē (32nd)
December 10, 1817
88°7'W to 91°41'W
Mississippi", adopted 1962
whale fossil nicknamed "ziggy"
Lady of Sorrows
Territory was organized on April 7, 1798, from territory ceded by Georgia
and South Carolina and was
later twice expanded to include disputed territory claimed by both the
U.S. and Spain.
was the 20th state admitted to the Union, on December 10, 1817. It was
the second state to secede from the Union as one of the Confederate
States of America on January 9, 1861.
During the Civil
War the Confederate States were defeated and subsequently Mississippi
was readmitted to the Union on February 23, 1870.
The state was the
last to repeal prohibition and to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, in
1966 and 1995 respectively.
On August 17, 1969
Category 5 Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi coast killing 248 people
and causing US$1.5 billion in damage (1969 dollars).
Law and Government
After the Civil
War, perceived mistreatment of Southerners during Reconstruction by
the federally-appointed Republican governors led to considerable resentment
toward the Republican party. As a result, Mississippi's state government
had a very long unbroken record of single-party dominance. For 116 years,
from 1876 to 1992 Mississippians only elected Democrat governors. For
most of that time period, Democrats also held the majority of seats
in the state legislature (which they still do) not to mention most other
elected offices, including the state's federal representation (although
some Republicans began to win Congressional elections in the 1970s).
As with all other
U.S. States and the federal
government, Mississippi's government is based on the separation of legislative,
executive and judicial power. Executive authority in the state rests
with the Governor, currently (2005) Haley Barbour (Republican). The
Lieutenant Governor, currently Amy Tuck (originally elected as a Democrat,
she switched to the Republican party in 2002), is elected on a separate
ballot. Both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are elected to four-year
terms of office. Unlike the federal government, but like many other
U.S. States, most of the heads
of major executive departments are elected by the citizens of Mississippi,
rather than appointed by the governor.
resides in the state legislature, composed of the Senate and House of
Representatives. The Lieutenant Governor presides over the Senate, while
the House of Representatives selects their own Speaker. The state Constitution
permits the legislature to establish by law the number of Senators and
Representatives, up to a maximum of 52 Senators and 122 Representatives.
Current state law sets the number of Senators at 52 and Representatives
at 122. The term of office for Senators and Representatives is four
authority rests with the state Supreme Court, which has statewide authority.
In addition, there is a statewide Court of Appeals, as well as Circuit
Courts, Chancery Courts and Justice Courts, which have more limited
geographical jurisdiction. The nine Judges of the Supreme Court are
elected from three districts (three Judges per district) by the state's
citizens in non-partisan elections to eight-year staggered terms. The
ten Judges of the Court of Appeals are elected from five districts (two
Judges per district) for eight-year staggered terms. Judges for the
smaller courts are elected to four-year terms by the state's citizens
who live within that court's jurisdiction.
At the federal level,
Mississippi's two U.S. senators are Trent Lott (Republican) and Thad
Cochran (Republican). As of the 2001 reapportionment, the state has
4 congressmen in the U.S. House of Representatives.
has 82 counties. Citizens of Mississippi
counties elect the five members of their county Board of Supervisors
from single-member districts, as well as other county officials.
The Bureau of Economic
Analysis estimates that Mississippi's total state product in 2003 was
$72 billion. Per capital personal income in 2003 was $23,466, 51st in
the nation (ranking includes the District
In 2000, Mississippi's
population was 2,844,658. Mississippi's population in 2003 was estimated
2000 Census rankings:
1st among the 50 states in its percentage of blacks; 45th in its percentage
The 2000 Census
data on the racial/ethnic makeup of Mississippi
is as follows:
- White persons
- Black or African
American persons (a) 36.3%
- American Indian
and Alaska Native persons (a) 0.4%
- Asian persons
- Native Hawaiian
and Other Pacific Islander persons (a) (z)
- Persons reporting
some other race (a) 0.5%
- Persons reporting
two or more races 0.7%
- Persons of Hispanic
or Latino origin (b) 1.4%
- White persons,
not of Hispanic/Latino origin 60.7%
(a) Includes persons
reporting only one race.
(b) Hispanics may be of any race, so also are included in applicable
(z) Value greater than zero but less than half unit of measure shown.
Until about 1940
African Americans made up a majority of Mississippians. However, this
has changed, as Mississippi
is now 36.3% black. A few thousand Native Americans (mostly Choctaw)
live in the east central section of the state. The small Chinese population
found in the Delta is descended from farm laborers brought there from
California in the 1870s.
The Chinese did not adjust well to the Mississippi
plantation system, however, and most of them became small merchants.
The coastal fishing industry has attracted Southeast Asian refugees.
The white population
of Mississippi is remarkably
homogeneous. More than 98 percent native-born, predominantly of Northern
European descent, especially British (namely English and Scottish),
Irish (including Scotch-Irish), and German. There are also significant
French and Italian populations. The black, Choctaw Indian, and Chinese
segments of the population are also almost entirely native-born.
affiliations largely consist of evangelical Christian denominations,
particularly Baptists (Southern Baptist, Missionary Baptist, etc.);
along with Methodist and Presbyterian. The Roman Catholic population
is found primarily in urban areas and on the Gulf Coast. The Jewish
population is also mainly concentrated in urban areas.
Important Cities and Towns
Colleges and Universities
- Blue Mountain
- Delta State
Gulf Coast Community College
University for Women
Valley State University
- Rust College
of Mississippi Medical Center
of Southern Mississippi
above article in gray is licensed under the
uses material from the