The Georgia Senate voted Tuesday to give the state its third flag in just over two years, but not before fixing typos in the bill - a move that could lead to the legislation's defeat. The Senate approved a temporary flag that could become permanent depending on a referendum next year. The changes mean the flag bill must return to the House, where black lawmakers - with just one legislative day remaining - pledge to filibuster the measure, likely killing it for this session. Black lawmakers want to derail the bill because it allows a possible referendum on the Confederate battle cross.
Georgia's flag saga began in 2001, when black lawmakers led a movement to change the 1956-issue state flag that was dominated by a large Confederate emblem. Then-Gov. Roy Barnes pushed a new flag through the Legislature in less than a week with no public hearings, creating a backlash that figured in his defeat to Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Even if the new flag clears the House and is adopted, it must be approved by voters next March. If voters reject it, the state would hold another referendum with two choices - an early Georgia flag or the Confederate banner adopted by the all-white Legislature in 1956, not long after the federal government ordered public schools desegregated.
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State Flag of 2001-Currrent
State Flag of 1956-2001
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