Georgians React to Flag Change - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/28/03

Georgians React to Flag Change

The Georgia branch of the NAACP says it will not call for an economic boycott of the state. This comes after state lawmakers voted to temporarily replace the current state flag with a new design. That design is inspired by a Confederate national flag, but doesn't have the confederate battle emblem.

WTOC spoke with residents in Statesboro today to get their reactions to the vote. Some are pleased, some are satisfied, and some are watching and waiting to see what happens next.

"I think the decision reached on the flag was like dating your cousin," flag enthusiast Mike Mull said. "It's not exactly what you wanted but better than what we had."

The move gives Georgians their third flag in 2 1/2 years. The flag approved late Friday night is something of a hybrid. It's based on the pre-1956 flag, which was a Confederate flag. The blue field was shorted, the red bar on the bottom goes the length of the flag. In God We Trust was moved to the blue field and the state seal was replaced by the Coat of Arms.

The new banner will fly at least until Georgia voters decide between the approved flag and the current flag in a statewide referendum. Resident Dollice Brannen told us she plans to vote for the pre-1956-style flag, saying, "I didn't see any need for changing it."

While the look and intent of the flag has come full circle in 47 years, Mull says we'll have to wait and see if the issue is laid to rest or if it ushers Sonny Perdue out of office like it ushered him in. Voters will go to the polls next March.

Friday night in Atlanta, some lawmakers were proud they'd diffused a powder keg. Others thought the voters should have had the controversial 1956 flag as an option. All of them just hope the issue is dead and buried.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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