I am a native Georgian. I’m also the great-grandson of two Confederate veterans.
I am in favor of changing the flag. A flag which purports to represent the people of Georgia, should represent all the people of Georgia. It should not be an emblem which polarizes the citizenry.
I do not like the proposed new flag, however. It is a cluttered mess. I think one local pundit had the right idea when he said that a state flag should be simple enough that a school child could draw it from memory. (I’m a big fan of South Carolina’s “palmetto and crescent moon” design, myself.)
I think we should go back to Georgia’s original flag which was just the state seal (three white columns) on a blue background. Nobody asked me, though.
As for RickJay’s comment:
Man, how Canadian can you get? We fought a war so we wouldn’t have to fly Union Jacks any more. Southerners tend to take pride in assertions of independence, not in broken ties to faded empires.
As for the Confederate battle flag, I understand those who have a certain sentimental attachment to it. Some may think that any display of that flag can only be intended to convey racism. Those who believe that are quite simply wrong.
I have known many folks, myself included, who have used the Confederate flag as a symbol of pride of place, pride in being Southern, without having any racist intent (or any racist beliefs, for that matter). Even so, I recognize that though my intent may not be racist, display of the Confederate flag may be perceived as racist. I also recognize that certain hate groups have used the flag expressly to convey racism. For that reason, I gave up the flag long ago.
It seems to me that folks have grown more sensitive about the flag in recent years. (And maybe that’s a product of continued use of the flag by hate groups.) When I was a kid in the 70’s, the flag was flown all over the South, as an emblem of southern pride. It appeared on license plates, and in window decals. “Dixie” was routinely played at high school football games. Hell, Lynyrd Skynyrd used to have a huge Confederate banner as the backdrop for their stage shows. These gestures were not intended to convey racism, but simply pride in being “Southern”. No one voiced any objection at the time, and I think that the benign intent was understood. Not any more.