- The Real Georgia State Flag
- Presented by the
- Georgia Division
- Sons of Confederate Veterans
Heritage is under attack. Among the many charges and attacks are those
against the Georgia Flag as adopted in 1956,
let’s address this issue:
charges are that the battle flag portion represents slavery and bigotry
and also that our State flag was adopted in 1956 in defiance of the Brown
Vs. Board of Education decision, which led to integration of schools.
CHARGE IS TRUE. FLAG OPPONENTS CONTINUE TO MAKE THESE CHARGES BUT FAIL TO
PROVE OR DEBATE THIS CLAIM.
John Sammons Bell, Chief Judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals designed
the 1956-2001 Ga. flag. He says that the purpose of the change was
"to honor our ancestors who fought and died and who have been so much
maligned." He denies any accusation that the flag change was proposed
in defiance of integration saying "Anybody who says anything to the
contrary is wrong or perpetuating a willful lie." Governor Carl
Sanders, a Civil Rights Supporter, and Governor Ernest Vandiver were in
the legislature when the flag change was made. Both agreed that the debate
in the legislature over adoption of the new flag had nothing to do with
integration or the Supreme Court decision. Neither the Atlanta newspapers
nor any other newspaper of the day ever published anything, which
indicated that the flag was being changed in defiance of desegregation
decisions of the Supreme Court. The lie has been perpetuated.
SOUTH DID NOT FIGHT TO PRESERVE SLAVERY.
was protected in the U.S. Constitution.
All Southerners had to do was stay in the union to keep slaves had
this been a major factor. When the war started, there were more slave
states in the Union (8) than in the Confederacy (7). To have a war over
slavery, one side would have to fight to end slavery. President Abraham
Lincoln stated, "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the
Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery". He further
promised to enforce laws that required runaway slaves to be returned.
General U. S. Grant, Union Commander, stated that if he became convinced
that the war was being fought to free the slaves, he would resign his
commission and offer his sword to the other side.
were forced to pay most of the country’s taxes (the Morrill Tariff Act)
to a central government that had strayed from the Constitution and denied
the independence of the States as established by the founding fathers.
Seven States formed a new country. When the Northern States raised an army
and invaded the Southern States, the war began. Southern States only
wanted freedom and independence.
General Robert E. Lee said, "All that the South has ever desired was
the Union, as established by our forefathers, should be preserved."
battle flag was adopted during the war so that Southern troops could
distinguish their men from the enemy. The previous flag (Stars & Bars)
looked too much like the Stars and Stripes. Both armies were shooting
their own men. The battle flag was never an official government flag but
it was the flag of the soldiers.
Southerners supported the Southern war effort in every way. Not only did
they maintain the farms, help look after the women and children, and
refuse to rise up against Southern white people as encouraged by the
North, but also actually participated in the war effort. Tens of thousands
of black Southerners served in the Confederate armies. THEY WERE
INTEGRATED AND RECEIVED THE SAME PAY AS WHITES, WHICH DID NOT HAPPEN IN
THE U.S. ARMIES UNTIL WORLD WAR II. Frederick Douglas, black leader in the
North, said "There are at the present moment many colored men in the
Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants, and laborers, but
as real soldiers, having muskets on their shoulders and bullets in their
pockets, ready to shoot down loyal troops and do all that soldiers may
50,000 records in the National Archives exist on Black Confederates to
prove this fact, and many were not recorded.
NAACP has adopted a resolution calling for a "SYSTEMATIC EFFORT TO
REMOVE ALL VESTIGES OF THE CONFEDERACY FROM PUBLIC DISPLAY." It is
not just our flag but also all our symbols, monuments and even our culture
that they wish to destroy (Cultural Genocide). All Southerners should be
proud of our unique heritage. The Confederate battle flag is recognized
around the world as a symbol of independence and self-determination. No
other Americans have suffered so much and made such sacrifices as our
Southern ancestors on behalf of Southern independence.
have been threats of a “boycott” of Georgia if we return to the pre
2001 Flag, let’s examine some of the recent
and evaluate their effectiveness.
change the Georgia state flag back to its pre-1956 version or leave it
alone, says the media and Chamber of Commerce, or Georgia's economy will
suffer. The NAACP threatens us with an economic boycott on tourism just as
they imposed on South Carolina. In the meantime, does anyone give the
public any factual data to support these assertions other than use this as
a “scare tactic”? Upon what basis do we conclude that the 1956 flag
had an effect, positive or negative, on the state’s economy?
- Let us
look at South Carolina where the NAACP boycott is in full force. The S.C.
Dept. of Parks, Recreation & Tourism has recently released the
following data: Tourism in S.C. created a record economic impact up from
11.1 % to $15.65 billion from last year. Investment in tourism related
businesses is up 66.5%. Tourism related tax receipts increased 9.7 %.
Visitor spending hit a record $7.14 billion. This is the same threatened
boycott that is supposed to panic business leaders in Georgia?
Furthermore, when BMW built their plant in South Carolina & Mercedes
their plant in Alabama both states flew the Confederate battle flag over
their state capitols.
Now, let us consider
Mississippi, where a study commission in 2000 came to the conclusion that
a vote on their state flag would end the fight once and for all. They
reasoned that people who cared the most, who caused the most stir, were
most likely to go to the polls.
April of 2001, that vote was taken and fully two thirds of those who cared
voted for their current flag, even though it sported a Confederate emblem.
bigots in the media had a field day with doom and gloom predictions for
Mississippi and the high costs such a vote would have on its economy. But
did it really have a negative effect? Here are some state government
- Mississippi CY 2001 Visitor
- 35 million total visitors
(person-trips), a 3% increase over the 34 million in CY 2000.
- 83% of the 13 million 2001
Overnight Leisure Visitors were from out-of-state.
- “Getaway Weekend” was the
top 2001 “Purpose of Stay” for Mississippi (ditto for 2000). In
reviewing the total visitors to Mississippi for 2001, the big upward
“spike” was in the “Day Leisure” component (day-trippers). They
increased from 10.3 million in CY 2000 to 13.9 million in CY 2001, a 35.5%
- The Overnight Leisure component
was “up” by about 4.8% - 12.4 million in CY 2000 to 13.0 million in CY
- The 13.9 million “Day
Leisure” plus the 13.0 million “Overnight Leisure” segment accounted
for 77% of the 35 million total visitors (person-trips) to MS in CY 2001.
- Business Travelers
(person-trips) to MS decreased by 28.4% (-28.4%) from CY 2000 to CY 2001.
This was based upon 8.1 million Business person trips in CY 2001 and 11.3
million Business person-trips in CY 2000. Both Overnight Business volume
(-22.1%) and Day Business volume (-32.5%) suffered “dramatically.”
(The decline was most likely related to the terrorist attack in New York
- Selected Fiscal Year (FY)
- 3,134,337 patrons at
Mississippi Welcome Centers, a 4.7% increase over FY 2001.
- Mississippi’s Gross Gaming
Revenues increased by 2.4% from FY 2001 to FY 2002.
- Mississippi had 53,833
statewide Hotel/Motel rooms as of June 30, 2002, a 3.8% increase over the
51,870 in place as of June 30, 2001.
- The estimated statewide
Hotel/Motel Occupancy Rate in FY 2002 was close to 60%.
- Statewide Tourism &
Recreation Revenues for FY 2002 appear to indicate an increase of about
2%, a smaller growth rate than in previous years.
- It is “likely” that Tourism
& Recreation City/County Tax Revenues will increase by about 2.6% from
FY 2001 to FY 2002 and that Tourism & Recreation General Fund Revenues
will reflect a 2.5% increase from FY 2001 to FY 2002 (not official yet).
- It is “likely” that Tourism
& Recreation Employment will reflect a “slight decrease” of under
1% (somewhere between –0.2% and –0.6%) from FY 2001 to FY 2002,
following the 1.4% decline in Tourism & Recreation Employment from FY
2000 to FY 2001. In other words, while Tourism & Recreation Revenues
were slightly up, the Employment remained flat/perhaps a tiny decline.
Now let us look briefly at the
history of economic growth in Georgia under the 1956 flag. Census data
shows an increase in population from approximately 3.6 million in 1956 to
7.7 million in 2000. Yearly Per Capita Income rose from approx. $1,400 in
1956 to an estimated $27,000 in 2000. The Gross State Product has
increased from approx. 9 billion dollars to an estimated 275 billion
dollars in 2000. Industry has thrived under the 1956 flag. For example,
Delta Airlines chose to make Georgia its home base in the '60s. Home Depot
and CNN both were created and prospered under the Confederate banner. Coca
Cola, the invention of Confederate Captain John Pemberton, has grown in
Georgia to be an international giant.
All this progress made under the 1956 flag.
in Georgia has been so explosive that Gov. Roy Barnes created the Georgia
Regional Transportation Authority (G.R.T.A.) to reign in and control
runaway growth and its accompanying sprawl that threaten the quality of
life in Metro Atlanta and other parts of the state. However, one
municipality has not shared in the growth and prosperity of the region,
despite millions of dollars in state and federal funds that have been
poured into it. That city is Atlanta itself. Following the election of
Maynard Jackson as Mayor in 1973 and throughout each succeeding
administration we have seen Atlanta lag behind the rest of the metro area.
Interestingly enough, Atlanta has been the leader in the attack on
Southern symbols refusing to fly the 1956 flag at any city controlled
venue for years.
us examine the data on the city of Atlanta. Data provided by the U.S.
Census, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Research Atlanta Inc., The
Selig Center at UGA and others. Atlanta has seen its population drop from
495,000 in 1970 to 403,000 in 1998 almost a 20% decline. Metro Atlanta on
the other hand has grown from 1,761,000 in 1970 to 3,541,000 in 1996.
Manufacturing in Atlanta dropped 28% from 1980 to 1995. If we compare the
data on Metro Atlanta's growth to the decline of the city of Atlanta one
could make the case that the 1956-2001 flag had been a positive influence
where it has been flown and the pre-56 flag a negative influence on the
city of Atlanta. These are
the facts, not hyperbole.
the business climate like in Georgia during 2000, while we were still
flying the Saint Andrews Cross on our flag. The Atlanta Constitution
reported Metro Atlanta was in the top 10 locations ( #5 ) for venture
capital investment with 714 million invested in the 1st quarter of 2000.
Forbes Magazine reported Metro Atlanta to be the 2nd best place in the
nation to do business. Tom Cousins reported a second Silicon Valley
forming here, with 46,000 high tech jobs being created here between
1993-1998. How can this growth be explained in light of these politically
correct assertions regarding the 1956 flag? The answer is simple, based
upon the facts, there is no dilatory effect.
told that the 1956 flag was an embarrassment to Georgia and would retard
growth in the 21st century if not replaced. Why have business
leaders, the media and politicians not presented this information to the
public in any forum dealing with this matter? Could it be that the
Gwinnett Co. Chamber of Commerce, following the lead of the city of
Atlanta, decided to use the pre-56 flag as a instrument to control growth
in that county which grew from 43,000 pop. in 1960 to 441,000 in 2000?
Next, based purely on the real figures, we may expect G.R.T.A. to require
municipalities with runaway growth and sprawl to revert to the pre-56 flag
debate regarding which flag best represents the state of Georgia, these
questions should be addressed:
- 1. What flag flew over the era
of Jim Crow? The pre-‘56 flag
- 2. What flag flew when Hank
Aaron played ball in Georgia for the Braves? The 1956-2001 flag
- 3. What flag flew when Herschel
Walker & Charlayne Hunter went to UGA? The 1956-2001 flag
- 4. Under what flag has Georgia
experienced unprecedented growth and prosperity? The 1956 –2001 flag
- 5. Under what Flag were the
majority of the Civil Rights Laws in Georgia enacted? The 1956-2001 flag
So many still need to learn
that Confederate Symbols represent the heritage of all Southern people,
and not hate
Old South symbols have not cost
the business community a single dime. What has cost them is the half
billion dollars that metro business spent in frivolous lawsuits
by the same groups attacking Southern heritage. What is at play, is
that some business leaders see this as a way to cheaply keep these leeches
off their doorstep. Shameful! Our Georgia Department of Industry, Trade,
& Tourism has proven that visitors come South expecting to see and
enjoy Southern symbols.
average voting citizen is of sufficient intelligence to realize that
business leaders and the race profiteers they ingratiate themselves to
cannot profess a desire for tolerance and diversity in the workplace, as
well as society at large, and then perpetuate the very intolerance they
claim to be against. They lack the strength to face anti-Southern bigots,
those who demand the censorship of the heritage of another group in
society, and demand their tolerance. It is as simple as that. As was seen
in the last gubernatorial race, no amount of money can make a voter
believe a fantasy.
the case that a South which displays proudly its rich heritage is somehow
at an economic disadvantage, one must use facts and figures. Sheer wishful
bigotry will not suffice. The evidence thus far does not indicate any
economic disadvantage. Attempted boycotts called for by individuals and
groups profiting by perpetuating hatred and distrust among the races, has
no monetary effect.
around the world market and sell their heritage to the touring public and
no region has more to offer than that which enjoys more books written
about it than any other; the most famous region in the world: the South.