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Fact of the Week

Fact of the Week

During the 2002 campaign for governor in Georgia, Republican Sonny Perdue chastised incumbent Roy Barnes for his role in changing the state flag in 2001. The Georgia legislature changed the flag from one dominated by the battle flag of the Confederate States of America to one dominated by the state seal. Republicans, led by state party chairman Ralph Reed (sometime head of the Christian Coalition), seized on this and other issues to win the governorship, a senate seat, and control of the Georgia House of Representatives.

Many Southern conservatives talk about "heritage" when they talk of state flags dominated by the Confederate battle flag. In Georgia, that heritage goes all the way back to 1956, when the Georgia legislature first incorporated the battle flag into the state's own flag. Perhaps this historic vexillological change was merely coincidental with the burgeoning of the civil rights movement in Georgia is merely coincidental, but we kind of doubt it.

Sources: CNN, 11 November 2002;
Georgia Secretary of State.

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