Petal is a city in Forrest County, Mississippi, along the Leaf River. It is part of the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 10,454 in the 2010 census.
The first postmaster of Petal was Irving A. Polk. The post office was established in 1903 and was named after the daughter of a first settler. It is the only city in the U.S. with this name. Petal separated from the city of Hattiesburg on April 4, 1974. Petal was a community filled with farmers. This is slowly changing with new businesses coming into the city.
The International Checker Hall of Fame was located in Petal until September 29, 2007, when 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) of the 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) building caught fire.
Petal was extensively damaged by an EF3 tornado on January 21, 2017.
On May 26, 2020, Petal mayor Hal Marx shared several posts relating to the death of George Floyd. The posts were later deleted but garnered criticism and, eventually, national attention.
On May 28, a special public meeting of aldermen officially censured Mayor Marx and called for his resignation, which Marx declined.