This essay discusses that the state of Georgia has had the greatest number of flags in the United States’ history. Controversies over the design of the Georgian State Flag have existed for a long time. Recently, Georgia’s flag was changed thrice between January 2001 and May 2003. The reason for these changes was the presence of the Confederate Battle symbol on the flag. The inclusion of the Confederate Battle Flag on the Georgian flag in 1956 has caused the greatest controversy in the history of Georgia’s flags. Criticisms of the flag began as soon as the flag was authorized and continued until the design was changed in 2001. The announcement by Governor Zell Miller of Georgia in 1992 that he would support the removal of the Confederate Battle symbol from the Georgian flag aroused renewed arguments. Governor Zell Miller attempted to redesign the Georgian flag but his efforts were thwarted by intense debates by the state’s elected representatives. Efforts to redesign the flag were revived in 2000 when some black leaders from Atlanta pushed for the removal of the Confederate stars and bars from the flag or else they would boycott events such as the NCAA basketball tournament. A new flag design was revealed to the public and legislators. The new flag was meant to unite all Georgians and it minimized the prominence of the Confederate Battle flag from the Georgian flag. However, the Georgians were not satisfied with this flag and another one was designed in 2003. Currently, the Georgians use the 2003 flag design that they voted for in a referendum in 2004. This paper explores the controversy surrounding the Georgian flag and the reasons for changing the flag design numerous times. The legislators who championed the change of the flag are also discussed. Causes of Georgia’s Flag Controversy The main source of controversy was the inclusion of the Confederate Battle Flag in the Georgian flag. This flag was used by the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. The Confederate States of America consisted of Southern American States that had broken away from the Union. The Confederate Battle Flag, also referred to as the Southern Cross, consisted of a blue St. Andrews cross on a red square background1. Thirteen white stars were enclosed on the blue cross representing the number of the states of the Confederacy. The blue cross was enclosed in thin white borders. This flag was widely accepted by the members of the public and the soldiers. The Confederate Battle symbol was incorporated into Georgia’s flag in 1956. There was a proposal to include the Confederate Battle Flag in Georgia’s state flag in 1955. Senate Bill No. 98 was introduced by Senators Willis Harden and Jefferson Lee Davis to change the design of Georgia’s state flag. The law authorizing the use of the new flag design was signed in 1956 by Governor Marvin Griffin. This was a sign of defiance to the Federal government for interfering with the rights of the state. One of the contentious issues at that time was racial integration in schools. The legislators were fighting the move by the Supreme Court to allow integration of races in public schools. The symbol was widely used in entertainment, books, and clothes and was used to show opposition to the Federal government. This flag was used in the state of Georgia as from 1956 to 2001. However, during this period, there were protests from Georgians because of the inclusion of the Confederate Battle Flag. Many people were dissatisfied with the design2. In the 1980s and 1990s, several Bills were introduced in an attempt to change the flag to the previous design3. Since the inclusion of the confederate battle flag in Georgia’s flag, there have been several attempts to change it. However, the controversy that occurred between 1990 to the present was the most intense, leading to the change of the
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