State Heritage
All Initiatives   
Subject Matter:
State Heritage  (See Comments)

Original Filing:
"The standard title of this initiative shall be the "Heritage Initiative". Upon the passage of the Heritage Initiative, the Constitution of the State of Mississippi shall be amended to include and incorporate all of the following twelve provisions; the State Legislature may select the location, within the Mississippi Constitution, of each provision. (I.) The State of Mississippi hereby acknowledges the fact of her identity as a principally Christian and quintessentially Southern state, in terms of the majority of her population, character, culture, history, and heritage, from 1817 to the present; accordingly, the Holy Bible is acknowledged as a foremost source of her founding principles, inspiration, and virtues; and, accordingly, prayer is acknowledged as a respected, meaningful, and valuable custom of her citizens. The acknowledgments hereby secured shall not be construed to transgress either the national or the state Constitution's Bill of Rights. (II.) English shall be the official language of the State of Mississippi. All governmental or public non-emergency or non-judicial services, functions, or communications in Mississippi shall be rendered in the English language only, except for specific foreign language instruction in public schools, and except for the option of Latin or French for jurisprudence, medicine, heraldry, and other traditional uses. (III.) The state flag of Mississippi shall be the state flag adopted in 1894, which has been in continuous use since 1894, and which was confirmed by statewide vote in 2001. The state flag of Mississippi shall be displayed in front of all public buildings, including but not limited to all state, county, and municipal buildings and any school receiving state funding. Wherever the national flag is displayed on public land or in public buildings, a state flag of equal size shall also be displayed. In Mississippi public schools and other public institutions, whenever the pledge of allegiance to the national flag is recited, the state flag salute shall be recited immediately thereafter. The state flag salute shall be: "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." (IV.) Mississippi's official and sole state nickname shall be "The Magnolia State". Mississippi's official and sole state motto shall be "Virtute et Armis"; said state motto shall appear below the eagle on the state's coat-of-arms. Mississippi's official and sole state song shall be "Dixie". Whenever the national anthem is played in a public venue or at a public event in Mississippi, either "Dixie" or "Go, Mississippi" shall be played immediately thereafter. (V.) All newly issued and all replacement Mississippi car tags, driver licenses, identification cards, welcome signs, and historical markers shall include: an image of the state flag of Mississippi, an image of the Magnolia flower, and the words "Mississippi" and "The Magnolia State" in elegant font. (VI.) The official and sole mascot of the University of Mississippi shall be "Colonel Reb", whose appearance shall be an accurate reflection of Colonel Reb's definitive appearance on the cover of the 1947 University of Mississippi yearbook (the 1947 Ole Miss). University of Mississippi teams shall be the "Rebels". The official and sole alternate title of the University of Mississippi shall be "Ole Miss"; no other alternate titles, abbreviations, or bynames of the University of Mississippi shall be used in any official capacity. The University of Mississippi traditions of playing "Dixie" and of displaying hand-held flags of any size, with or without flag sticks, at athletic events or in athletic venues shall not be infringed. The annual Ole Miss homecoming titles shall be "Colonel Reb" and "Miss Ole Miss". One year after the Heritage Initiative's passage, a life-sized, classical, and heroic statue of University Greys soldier Jeremiah Gage shall be erected on the edge of University Circle, positioned centrally in front of the Lyceum; said statue shall stand on a base five feet high with a metal plaque affixed listing the name, rank, and hometown of each University Greys soldier; the funding thereof shall be from non-public sources. (VII.) The official and sole mascot of Mississippi State University shall be "Bully", who shall be an English Bulldog. Mississippi State University teams shall be the "Bulldogs". The Mississippi State University traditions of carrying and ringing hand-held Cowbells, of prominently featuring Bully in the form of a live canine Bulldog at athletic events or in athletic venues, and of honoring the founding college president, Stephen Dill Lee, shall not be infringed. (VIII.) The official and sole mascot of the University of Southern Mississippi shall be "Seymour d'Campus", who shall be a "Golden Eagle". University of Southern Mississippi teams shall be the "Southerners". The University of Southern Mississippi traditions of celebrating Mardi Gras and of prominently featuring a live horse named "Son of Dixie" shall not be infringed. (IX.) Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi University for Women, and Mississippi Valley State University shall not be required to consolidate or merge, and they shall be permitted to remain distinct public institutions of higher learning. (X.) The month of April shall be "Confederate Heritage Month" in the State of Mississippi, annually proclaimed by the Governor and declared by the Secretary of State. Annually throughout the month of April, all primary and secondary public schools in the state shall acknowledge "Confederate Heritage Month" and include within the curriculum appropriate information about Mississippi's Confederate history, heritage, achievements, and prominent people, including Mississippi's African American and Native American veterans. The last Monday in April shall be "Confederate Memorial Day", an annual state holiday; all state, county, and municipal non-emergency departments and buildings, including but not limited to public schools, universities, courts, and offices, shall be closed in observance thereof. Non-emergency public employees within any department or building closed on Confederate Memorial Day shall have a non-compensated holiday on this day, unless the State Legislature voluntarily allocates compensation to said public employees for this holiday. The right to acknowledge, observe, and celebrate "Dixie Week" throughout the seven days preceding Confederate Memorial Day shall not be infringed. (XI.) In honor of the Mississippians who served under this military flag, the Confederate Battle Flag, measuring at minimum four feet by four feet, shall be permanently displayed on a flag-pole directly behind and above the monument to Confederate women on the state capitol's exterior grounds. The right to place and display flags at veterans' graves shall not be infringed. Within Mississippi, all publicly owned, publicly held, or publicly managed Confederate or Confederate-themed items, including but not limited to monuments, statues, works of art, relics, markers, signs, names, titles, structures, roads, parks, graves, and cemeteries shall be preserved and maintained by the state government, which may delegate applicable duties to the respective counties or municipalities for this purpose; for all cases in which said items were renamed, the more historical name shall take precedence and be reestablished in full. (XII.) The borders and boundaries of the State of Mississippi are hereby restored; the repealing of Article 2, Section 3, of the Mississippi Constitution, is hereby nullified; and said Article 2, Section 3, shall be reinstated and reactivated, in its entire pre-1990 wording. The jurisdiction and laws of the State of Mississippi, and the rights and liberties of her citizens, shall exist within her borders and boundaries. Revenue Statement: Implementation of the Heritage Initiative would not require a net increase in government expenditures beyond an estimated maximum of $250,000 per year (less than 0.005 percent of the state's current fiscal year budget), which the State Legislature may apportion from the state's General Fund and/or Special Fund. Most of the Heritage Initiative's provisions would not require any additional government expenditures or allocations of revenue; for the provisions that involve revenue, the State Legislature may reasonably apply the least costly means to carry out the provisions of this initiative."

Proposed Ballot Title:
Should the Constitution be amended to restrict or define Mississippi’s heritage, religion, official language, symbols, universities, and state boundaries?

Proposed Ballot Summary:
Initiative #46 would amend the Constitution to restrict or define Mississippi’s heritage in the following areas: religion, official language, state flag, nickname, song, motto and state university mascots. Further, the initiative would prevent the consolidation of Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi University for Women, and Mississippi Valley State University, designate the month of April “Confederate Heritage Month,” and reinstate Mississippi’s Constitutional boundaries.

Initiative Petition:

Mr. Arthur Randallson
P.O. Box 488
Southaven, MS 38671


Town Meeting Location:

Initiative Information:
The official ballot title and ballot summary for an initiative measure are prepared by the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. Initiative measures are valid for one year. During this one-year period, a petition may be circulated to place the measure on the next statewide general election ballot to allow the voters of Mississippi to determine whether the measure should become a part of the Mississippi Constitution. According to Mississippi law, for an initiative measure to be placed on the ballot, a minimum of 107,216 certified signatures must be gathered, with at least 21,443 certified signatures from each of the five congressional districts as they existed in the year 2000. This required number of signatures represents twelve percent (12%) of the total number of votes cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial general election. Signatures must be certified by county circuit clerks as belonging to registered voters in Mississippi. A completed petition should be filed with Secretary of State, together with a filing fee of $500.00. For more information on the initiative process in Mississippi, consult the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, Section 273, and Mississippi Code Annotated §§ 23-17-1 through 23-17-61 (1972).

(Click to show/hide comments)