Gov. Tate Reeves late Friday named New Albany resident Betsey Hamilton as one of his three representatives on the Mississippi Flag Commission.
His choices include Hamilton as a civic leader, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Chief Cyrus Ben and businessman Frank Bordeaux.
“No doubt the selection of the redesign of our state’s flag is a significant moment in time for all of us in Mississippi and I’m extremely honored to have been asked by Governor Reeves to serve in this process,” Hamilton said. “I look forward to getting to know the other appointees and working with them. It’s my sincere hope that from the hundreds of designs submitted to the Commission that we are able to choose one that unites us all for generations to come, speaks to who we are and one that makes us all proud to call Mississippi ‘home.’”
In signing House Bill 1796 at a bill signing ceremony on June 30, the Mississippi Flag Commission was established to redesign the state flag for voters to decide on in November. Under the bill, the Governor had to choose his appointees from the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Mississippi Economic Council.
The commission held its first meeting this past Wednesday. Although they have about two months in which to select and recommend a design, they said they hope to have a decision by Sept. 2 in order to help circuit clerks prepare ballots for the election.
So far, about 600 designs have already been submitted. There are some general guidelines, but the design specifically must include the phrase, “In God we trust” and cannot contain the design for the Confederate battle flag.
About the governor’s appointees:
Mississippi Department of Archives and History: Betsey Hamilton is a retired public school teacher, real estate broker and appraiser. With a strong passion for preserving Mississippi’s history while creating a brighter future for our state, Hamilton currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Union County Heritage Museum and as a member of the Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi. She has previously served as a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Union County Historical Society and the Tanglefoot Trail. Having been a Trustee for the New Albany Public School District and a member of the Advisory Council for the New Albany Boys and Girls Club, Hamilton is committed to ensuring the best education and futures for our children.
Mississippi Economic Council: Tribal Chief Cyrus Ben is the fifth democratically elected Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Having been officially sworn into office on July 9, 2019, making history as the youngest chief, Chief Ben is guided in his leadership and service to the Choctaw people by five key initiatives: respect of others, fairness and equality to all, accountability in all areas, efficiency in practices in addition to the support and appreciation of all employees and Tribal members. Chief Ben feels strongly about educating and mentoring our youth and shows this by being actively involved within his community. A life-long resident of Neshoba County, Mississippi, Chief Ben and his wife TaRita raise their children, Brodie, Eden and Selah in the Pearl River community.
Mississippi Arts Commission: Frank Bordeaux currently serves as Vice President, Property and Casualty for BXS Insurance in Mississippi, which he originally joined in 2007 as an insurance producer. His primary focus is public sector business, Department of Defense contractors, and large hospitality risk. Bordeaux has been involved with numerous civic and nonprofit organizations over the years, including serving on the Gulfport Youth Sports Association, as a past Board Member of Feed My Sheep Soup Kitchen, and as a past Board Member of Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. Some of his professional affiliations include The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, and Independent Insurance Agents of Mississippi. A life-long Mississippian, Bordeaux and his wife, Jacqueline, have four sons, Miles, Hudson, Jack Fisher, and Frank.
The next meetings of the flag commission have tentatively been set for July 28, Aug. 19 and Sept. 2.
Betsey Hamilton, Gov. Tate Reeves, Mississippi Flag Commission, Northeast MS news