First, the flag in the canton of the Mississippi state flag is not the "stars and bars," but rather the Confederate Battle Flag. Let's please get this straight, because it is not the first time I have seen this mistake on this board.
"Stars and Bars" flag: the official flag of the Confederate States of America, it contains three stripes (red over white over red) with a canton of blue filled with 11 white stars.
Confederate Battle Flag: background of red with a blue St. Andrew's Cross filled with 11 white stars.
With that out of the way, I can address the merits of the election. The election was not about white against black as was the case in the South Carolina and Georgia examples. The appendage of the Confederate battle flag to the state flag of Georgia occurred in 1956 and the flag first flew over the South Carolina state house in 1962, both dates remarkably close to the height of the civil rights movement. This, of course, is no coincidence. Both Georgia and South Carolina took this action as a means of expressing their opposition to desegregation. Since that time, it has stood in both states as a symbol of state-endorsed white supremacy.
Mississippi, on the other hand, added the Confederate battle flag to its state flag in 1898, long before any civil rights movement. It was added not as a statement on race, but rather as a protest against the invideous effects of Reconstruction which had ended only 25 years prior.
That being said, the election yesterday did not come at the behest of black leaders in the state or under threat of an NAACP boycott, but rather through the efforts of the business leaders of the state. Ultimately, it does not look good to investors to have the Confederate battle flag flying outside your corporate headquarters in the year 2001. Mississippi's rejection of the revised flag, therefore, was not a vote against blacks. Nor was it a vote for racism. Rather, it was a vote to remain a backwater, the armpit of America (with all due respect to the other notable backwaters of Arkansas and Louisiana). It was a vote against corporate development and prosperity. It was a vote for continuing the ancient, though increasingly impoverished, Mississippi economy that revolves around the cotton trade and the use of manual labour.
So, my friends, do not hate Mississippi or excoriate it as racist (which it may be completely separate and apart from its state flag). Rather, pity it as you would a friend that needs help but refuses to seek it.