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House approves new flag

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April 9, 2003

Tifton - Georgia could have a new flag within days. After a long debate, the House approved a new design last night. If the Senate agrees the flag will change, but you'll still get a chance to vote on it.

It's the buzz around Georgia. Barber, Scott Glisson, says, "Governor Perdue had to do something, he promised people a lot of things."

The state flag is a controversial issue, but Glisson is neutral. He says, "I can go either way, it really doesn't matter me. I can understand both sides."

Glisson hears a lot of opinions. He works at Hollis' Barber Shop in downtown Tifton. He laughs, "Try to keep it in the barber shop."

Here's the deal, House members voted yes to this new flag. It would feature the state seal on a blue field in the top left corner, with three red-and-white stripes and the words "In God We Trust" to the right. It was designed by a Republican and echoes an old Confederate banner, but it does not include the more familiar rebel cross. This flag would have to be approved by voters in 2004. Tifton business owner, Mark McLean, points at the American flag and says, "The state flag I think there's too much crap going on with the state flag. I think everyone should fly this flag here. If you don't like this flag you need to move out."

McLean thinks the issue is a waste of time and money. He says, "Keep it like it is and not worry about it."

If voters don't approve this new design next year, a second referendum would be held that would include the old flag with the Confederate battle emblem.

The House passed the new flag 111-67 vote. Only two Republicans voted no to the change, including Tifton's House Representative Auston Scott.

The flag bill now heads to the Senate.

posted at 6:20PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com

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