Mississippi State Quarter
The Mississippi quarter, the fifth and last quarter of 2002 and 20th in
the series, showcases the beauty and elegance of the state flower,
combining the blossoms and leaves of two magnolias with the inscription
"The Magnolia State."
The magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), named for the French botanist
Pierre Magnol, is strongly associated with the South, where the flower
became enormously popular after it was introduced from Asia. This
association became strong enough that Mississippi adopted it as the state
flower in 1952.
In 1900, when Mississippi schoolchildren were asked to vote for a state
flower, they selected the magnolia over a group that included cape
jasmine, yellow jasmine and cotton. The selection remained unofficial,
however, as the legislature did not act on the result. A similar election
for state tree in 1935 gave the magnolia a landslide victory, one that was
made official on April 1, 1938. On February 26, 1952, the Mississippi
legislature finally adopted the magnolia as the state flower, opposed by
only one vote.
In response to the U.S. Mint's request for design concepts for the
Mississippi quarter, Governor Ronnie Musgrove submitted three concepts on
June 22, 2000, a Magnolia flower with a branch, a Mockingbird and
"Mississippi - The Magnolia State."
The U.S. Mint provided Governor Musgrove with three candidate designs
from which he chose "The Magnolia State" on July 3, 2001.
Provided by the U.S. Mint