A mosquito on a state flag? That's not gonna fly — right?
Nearly 3,000 residents submitted new flag designs after the state Legislature voted in June to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the flag and put a new design on the November ballot.
Thomas Rosete, who works as a deckhand on the Yazoo River, said he first submitted the mosquito design as a joke on a friend who didn’t want the old flag design changed.
“I believe people from all backgrounds can get behind this and raise it proudly,” Rosete, 26, told the Clarion Ledger of Jackson. “I said something like that in the (submission) email. And now I actually do believe that.”
“The mosquitoes, it’s their state, we’re just living in it," he added.
“The mosquitoes, it’s their state, we’re just living in it."
— Thomas Rosete, creator of mosquito flag
Actually, the honeybee may beg to differ: It's been Mississippi's state insect since 1980, according to StateSymbolsUSA.com.
The mosquito-honoring flag, listed as a round two finalist among around 150 other entries, was posted on the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s website Monday and quickly went viral.
“Personally, I love the Mosquito Flag. … the cheekyness (sic) of it is on brand," one resident wrote on Twitter.
“I’m slowly realizing my love for the mosquito flag might not even be ironic,” another commented. “It’s so bad it’s good. I would proudly fly the mosquito.”
“It’s so bad it’s good. I would proudly fly the mosquito.”
— Online comment
The department soon issued an announcement, correcting the mistake: "The mosquito flag advanced to Round Two [was] due to a typo in a list of flag numbers submitted by one commissioner. That commissioner has requested that the flag be removed from the Round Two gallery, and MDAH staff has complied."
Many were disappointed when they found it it had been removed as a finalist.
“Fly high, mosquito flag,” a journalist from the Clarion Ledger wrote, adding several crying emojis.
A writer for the Jackson Free Press suggested that an online petition settle the issue because "it's the flag we deserve."
“I don’t feel like anyone dodged a bullet here rather they squandered an opportunity,” one person wrote on Twitter.
Rosete told the Clarion Ledger it was a "very emotional hour. I went from the highest of highs to, ‘Oh, well, that sucked.’”
But he said he's just glad the state is "moving forward" with changing the flag and said he likes some of the designs.
Other designs that didn’t make the cut: a teddy bear and Kermit the Frog.