ACKERMAN, Miss. (WCBI) – Eight years ago, Rocky Vaughan got the sudden inspiration to start sketching a new design for the Mississippi state flag while waiting for his second son to be born.
On November 3rd, that sketch became the official state flag of Mississippi.
“[To] have everyone come together under one symbol, it’s a real honor,” Vaughan says.
The Ackerman native still can’t believe the symbol he created now flies proudly over the state he loves.
“It is surreal,” Vaughan says. “It’s a real proud moment for me, my family and my friends.”
The long and arduous process of creating a new state flag for Mississippi finally came to end after more than 70 percent of voters chose Vaughan’s design.
“When I saw 70 percent approval rating during the night, I’m like ‘OK, this is good, now it all makes sense that I even tried to tackle this topic,'” he says.
For Vaughan, it marks the end of a journey that started after he saw a news story about the controversy over the old state flag.
“I knew there was going to be change one day,” he says. “And I knew that I had to put something out there years prior so they can see how good it can look.”
Vaughan says he wanted to create a flag that all Mississippians could unite under.
“What’s the thing that we have in common? Mississippi,” Vaughan explained. “So let’s come together, let’s find something that represents us all.”
Representative Kabir Karriem has been trying to get the Mississippi House to change the flag for the past five years and says the change also represents a step forward.
“The flag is just a symbolic gesture but it says that we can unify on a common cause for the good of the people of Mississippi,” he said.
Even after making his mark on history, Vaughan says he isn’t looking for recognition.
“I’m so blessed that I could do my part,” he says.
“It’s a new day here in Mississippi,” Rep. Karriem says.