On my recent fast trip to Jackson I spent a little time on the grounds of the New Capitol (yes, folks still refer to it as the “New” Capitol even though it is over 100 years old).
This is the figurehead from the second USS Mississippi (Battleship #23). The keel was laid down in 1904 and the ship launched in 1905; she was commissioned in 1908 and served the US Navy until 1914 when she and her sister ship, the USS Idaho, were sold to Greece. She would meet her demise during WWII. The figurehead was removed and presented to the State of Mississippi in 1909 and now graces a part of the Capitol lawn.
Seeing the figurehead reminded me of 2 things almost simultaneously. I remembered looking at this on a visit to the New Capitol in late 2002 with my parents. Daddy and I looked at it and shared a chuckle about the “No Parking” sign; I’m still not sure why that is there! I also remembered reading is a nice post on Misspreservation about the figurehead. Click over there to see a picture of the battleship with the figurehead attached. It was very graceful on the bow of the big ship!
I’m glad this piece of art and military history has been preserved. I know it was designed for outdoor use, but still it is quite elderly. I hope when the time comes that dear citizens will rally around to take steps to keep it in good condition so others can admire the eagle and the 13 stars she protects!