Two days after the Mississippi flag commission held its first meeting, Governor Tate Reeves has announced his appointees.
After missing the July 15th deadline outlined in the bill that created the commission and retired the now-former Mississippi state flag, the governor has announced his three selections that will serve on the commission tasked with designing a proposal for a new state banner.
The bill dictated that the governor’s appointees must come from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the Mississippi Economic Council and the Mississippi Arts Commission. In a news release, Governor Reeves announced the appointment of Betsey Hamilton, Tribal Chief Cyrus Ben and Frank Bordeaux.
A news release from the governor included background information on his selections:
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.
With six of the nine members already chosen by Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, the commission met Wednesday at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. During the meeting, former Justice Reuben Anderson was selected as the commission chairman. Also, the deadline for public submissions was moved up to August 1st.
A state flag proposal must be submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office by September 14th ahead of November 3rd’s election.