50 STATES QUARTER DOLLAR
Obverse: John Flanagan
Diameter: ±24.3 millimeters
Images courtesy of the United
"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 United
States 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
The United States Mint
provided Governor Musgrove with three candidate designs from which he
chose "The Magnolia State" on July 3, 2001."
-- Content courtesy of the United