Though the cheery clip art and chipper slogan, the story of Long Beach, Mississippi is one of repeated tragedy.
Most recently, Hurricane Katrina plowed over this Gulf Coast town, destroying 90% of the buildings along its waterfront and decimating the town’s library.
Possibly even more tragic (OK – not even close) is a story so wrenching it made its way into the Long Beach flag. The city was founded in 1905 for one purpose and one purpose alone. Radish farming. Radishes were once served alongside beer, as pretzels are today. So intense was this radish farming that after the bumper crop of 1921, some 300 train loads of radishes were shipped out. But as you’ll see from the flag, the radishes Long Beach grew are not the radishes that have the favor of the American palate these days. On the flag, the radishes look kind of like red carrots. As tastes changed, round radishes came into vogue, leaving the growers of the long radishes of Long Beach with long faces. Radish production dropped off sharply soon after.