Georgia's new flag debuts Thursday -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia's new flag debuts Thursday

May 7, 2003

(Atlanta-AP) -- Georgia's new state flag will go up tomorrow, when Governor Perdue plans to sign a bill changing the banner. The new flag has three red-and-white stripes to the right, with the state coat of arms on a blue corner of the top left corner.

The flag echoes a national Confederate flag but does not include the famed Dixie cross, considered by many a racist symbol.

Georgia's new banner was approved by lawmakers last month after weeks of debate on reviving the Confederate battle cross, which dominated Georgia's flag until 2001, when then-Governor Roy Barnes pushed through a new banner to shrink the divisive emblem.

Perdue criticized the flag change and promised a vote on the flag during his campaign. The governor initially pushed for a statewide referendum on the pre-2001 Georgia flag but later backed off and supported the new design.

The three-stripe flag is not permanent. Voters will choose between the new flag and the 2001 flag in a March 2004 referendum. State officials say it will cost about $280,000 to change the flag because new ones must be sent to every school, courthouse and government building in the state.

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