The official state song of Mississippi is "Go Mississippi." It was written by William Houston Davis and was officially adopted as the state song of Mississippi in May 1962. It, along with other state symbols of Mississippi, is representative of the state's unique characteristics and history, and encourages patriotism within the people of the state of Mississippi.
While William Houston Davis was not born in Mississippi, but in Oklahoma in 1914, he later moved to Mississippi. He died in 1987. Before 1962, there was no official state song of Mississippi until group of estate agents decided to remedy this and the Jackson, Mississippi Board of Realtors got together an advisory committee and put forward Davis' song "Go Mississippi." Its music and lyrics reflect the positive attitude of the state of Mississippi and those who reside there.
William Gardner Hewes, the senator of Mississippi at the time, put forward a suggestion to change the official state song of Mississippi in 2000. He suggested Edward Owen Miller's "Mississippi" as a replacement state song but the committee disagreed and it was denied. In 2011, John Riggs, a Nashville songwriter, again suggested an update to the state song of Mississippi and submitted a song he co-wrote with Carolyn Sue Woods called "I Miss Mississippi" which he thought reflected the state better than the generic "Go Mississippi" which, according to him, could apply to any state.
All the states of the US have a state song, each chosen carefully to reflect the state accurately. Each song has its own story and meaning for the state and they instill great pride. Along with other state emblems and symbols, such as the flag, state animal and state flower, each of these embraces that state's unique qualities and abundant resources.
Other well-known symbols of Mississippi include its flag, adopted in 1894, which is the only US state flag to include the Confederacy battle flag. The Mississippi coat of arms, adopted in 1894 as well, with its blue shield and eagle includes the motto Virtute et Amis, the Latin for "By valor and arms". Although the motto has not actually been officially adopted, it reflects the character of the people of Mississippi: brave and strong. The state bird of Mississippi is the Mockingbird, which is found throughout the state, with its easily recognizable singing voice. It was selected by the Women's Federated Clubs and was officially adopted as the state bird of Mississippi in 1944.