For the members of The Nevergreens Marching Society, the shroud of mystery that covers the beginnings and traditions of Mobile’s Mardi Gras celebration is purple and gold only. New Orleans may revel in the Carnival season with purple, gold and green in its heraldry, but Mobile, the Nevergreens say, does not bring green along to the party as a third wheel.

The strings of green beads still hurled from endless floats, the swathes of green sugar that bakers continue plastering on scores of King Cakes and even a single green letter on a hat Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson wore last year repulse the Oakleigh-based group, whose founders looked to local history and legend in 2020 and decided to take the Azalea City back to its dichromatic roots.

The Nevergreens

Two Nevergreens show their purple and gold spirit at Washington Square, where they will make their annual proclamation on Joe Cain Day (the Sunday before Fat Tuesday) (Photo provided by Mike Kittrell)

Mobile Mardi Gras Flag, Final Version PNG

This flag designed by Mobile preservationist Stephen McNair was adopted by the Mobile County Commission as an official banner in 2019. As of 2023, the City of Mobile does not have an official Mardi Gras flag, a city spokesperson told Lagniappe.

Nevergreens with Mayor Sandy Stimpson

Members of the Nevergreens pose with Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson outside the Civic Center during Mardi Gras 2022. They gave him a warning citation for the bit of green on his hat. (Photo provided by The Nevergreens Marching Society)

Email news tips and story ideas to

Kyle covers Africatown, the Baldwin County Commission, Baldwin County Schools and the Eastern Shore. After completing his undergrad in history at Mississippi College in 2021, he earned a master's degree in journalism at The University of Alabama in August 2022. He loves Mobile Bay's unique culture, and enjoys hearing and writing the stories of the people who call it home.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.