Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Georgia state House Rules Committee have been contentious and have blocked any efforts by the citizens and special-interest groups to express their desires concerning this unfortunate turn of events in developing a new state flag that would represent all the citizens and not a select few.
What kind of politics is that? Is it not these very same flags that got the citizens and special interest groups of our state upset in the first place?
A flag is nothing more than a piece of cloth. It is the symbols attached to that piece of cloth that represent the insignia of a community or state, an armed force, or an office of an individual. Period. It is quite obvious that the current state flag or the proposed flags of pre-1956 or post-1956 do not represent all the people of the state of Georgia.
Changing the flag is not new. Quite a few years ago I proposed an alternate to the post-1956 flag and it feel on deaf ears. I would like to again offer this proposal to all the citizens that would enable everyone the opportunity to design a flag for all of us:
First: Allow the citizens the opportunity to submit proposals to their elected officials. The state has 13 United States congressional districts. Allow these 13 representative to select a flag designed in their district. Forward the winning flag from their respective districts to the governors office.
The governor should select a committee of seven made up of the mayors of Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Savannah to select the best four of the nominated flags. The governor would only have a tie-breaking vote.
Once this process has been completed, have all the 13 nominees - flag designers - to go the state Capitol to receive the honor and recognition for their efforts. Provide a copy to the media of the four winning flag nominations. These four flags would be the flags that the citizens would vote on in the presidential primary election the next year. The two with the majority of votes would be voted on by all the citizens during the presidential election in November. The final vote would determine which flag would represent all of us citizens.
Input from all the citizens of the state and not just a select few should once and for all eliminate the cancer of racism and division that has divided our great state.
If the readership feels as strongly as I do about this this situation I would like to invite each reader to write to Perdue and both their state and federal elected officials and express their concerns that the citizens had no say so about the flag that is supposed to represent them.
David G. Edmiston Sr., USAF (retired)
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